Latest In Depth Technology News

New Electronics brings you a selection of in depth Technology Articles, covering key issues and innovations within research & development, embedded design, power, communications design, test & measurement, programmable logic, system design and more.

The pros and cons of dynamic translation architectures

Bitter wars have been fought over processor architectures and some, such as the fight between ARM and the x86, continue to rage. But the realisation that computer processor instructions sets do more or less the same thing, just with different names, goes back more than 40 years.

Give us the tools!

The earlier the consequence of design decisions on power consumption are determined, the greater the impact on the end design. By Neil Tyler.

Beating the 'binsters'

Although the UK is said to be a throwaway society when it comes to repairing consumer electronic devices, there is another way. By Graham Pitcher.

Taking a walk through IBM's technology history

If there is one company which casts a huge shadow across industry, commerce and education, that company would be IBM. But during its 100 years or so history, it has been something of a technology chameleon; adapting itself to the times. Today's IBM is significantly different to IBM of only a decade or so ago and unrecognisable from its origins. But one strand runs consistently through the company's heritage – data processing.

New technology is driving new ways to customise electronic enclosures

Not that long ago, any customisation offered by enclosure manufacturers tended to be limited to drilling a few holes for connectors or machining apertures for displays. If you were looking for any additional customisation – whether that was painting, anodising, silk screen printing of legends and logos or EMC shielding – then you had to contend with a long chain of suppliers in which even minor problems could cause long delays or result in enclosures having to be redesigned.

The benefits of exploiting M2M connectivity?

Over the years, a number of different methods have been used for establishing remote connections between industrial systems and sensors, including fixed connections, low power radio links, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. But most are only feasible over relatively short distances or where existing connections, such as a telephone line, fibre optic cable, or dedicated point to point link, are already installed. A new technology using 'white space' spectrum has also been proposed, but this would involve commissioning a whole new network.

High speed rail services pose wireless connectivity problems

Railway operators around the world are embracing wireless technology to help improve levels of security, raise levels of reliability, boost operating efficiency and enhance the consumer experience, whether that's by providing on board Wi-Fi access, better passenger information services or location based travel announcements.

Flexibility for the future

Operating a data centre requires a range of conflicting requirements to be balanced. At the top of the list is the ability to deliver extreme computational performance, but other factors include flexibility, the efficient use of power and keeping costs as low as possible.

Opening up the design process

Collaboration has always been the cornerstone of any successful manufacturing business and especially so when customers are becoming more demanding and products more complex. As the supply chain evolves so there is a growing need to share product data more effectively and despite significant progress in recent years it remains a problem. Attempts to solve interoperability bring with it a host of technical issues.

Rolling out plans for the future

With more than 3000 companies, the aerospace sector employs more than 100,000 people and contributes £28billion to the UK’s economy, making it a significant and a successful player in UK plc.

Managing cell edge issues

Heterogeneous networks (HetNets) are now being deployed along with Self-Organising Networks (SON) to address the need for increased network capacity. A HetNet comprises a combination of macrocells or eNodeBs with small cells (microcells, picocells and femtocells) relay eNodeBs and remote radio heads (RRH).

Pushing towards the limits

It might seem like submarine communication is a relatively new fangled idea, but no; the first cable to link the UK and the US came into operation around 1860, carrying telegraphy.

The Desyre for change in SoC design

SoCs for critical applications could use 28% less energy and 48% less chip area while offering hardware failure rate nine times lower, if they were designed using the Desyre architecture, according to the European project. The result, the project adds, would reduce hospital costs and replacement rate of medical devices drastically.

An introduction to magnetic components

As electronics becomes more prevalent in our daily lives, most users are aware of only a few component types. An internet search will bring up semiconductors, microprocessors and transistors, but little about the magnetic components that are essential to make those devices function.

How to make sure the IoT is as secure as it should be

Attacks on Sony and Target suggest current enterprise security, in many companies, is not fit for purpose. The Internet of Things means that almost anything can now be connected to the Internet, but that also means that anything connected to the Internet can be hacked. Most of the information isn't transmitted securely and many apps have vulnerabilities that can be easily exploited by anyone with the necessary skills.

Could 'Supercomputing at the Edge' provide a scalable platform for new mobile services?

Imagine a future in which every mobile base station is capable of instantly processing data as it is being uploaded or downloaded; where some types of data may be hugely valuable for just a matter of seconds, but which don't have to be stored in or sent to the cloud; or of a computing platform, located at the very edge of the network, where data is collected and the caching of content is done locally. All of these ideas are at the heart of the 'Supercomputing at the Edge' concept. For its proponents, it heralds a new age in big data management capable of supporting many new services and applications.

Manufacturers continue to push op amp precision and performance

While there is a trend towards integration within the electronics industry, the demand for discrete products appears to remain unaffected. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the analogue world, where product portfolios are not only broad, they are also long standing. A typical example is the seemingly humble op amp. Generally supplied in small package with a few pins, the op amp still performs a valuable function, particularly when linking sensors to the A/D converter input of a microcontroller.

Integrated photonic systems are expected to drive the development of new applications, including Ultra HD broadcast

Photonics is turning out to be big business – and the technology holds the prospect of being even more important in the future. A market that was valued at something like $350billion in 2005 has grown to be worth around $1trillion in 2015, driven by the increasing use of displays. Not bad for a technology that only saw the light of day in the early 1960s.

How power electronics devices are playing a central role in the modern car

Automotive manufacturers are increasingly using electronics to enhance their vehicles. The increase of the electronic content comes despite the fact that a modern vehicle is a challenging environment for silicon. In addition to the heat, vibration and grime of normal operation, drivers expect a vehicle's engine management unit and lighting to spring to life even as the vehicle's electrical power source struggles with the demands of starting an internal combustion engine – or cold cranking. That's in addition to any safety systems powered by the battery that the driver takes for granted, but must be ready to work the instant an ignition key is turned or start button is pressed.

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