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.

Product differentiation

The Mobile World Congress usually represents a forum for all of the major technology companies to display their latest offerings to the world of mobile communications. However, having visited the various stands at this year's congress – which took place in Barcelona during March 2015 –one was struck by the fact that the smartphones produced by each of the manufacturers seems increasingly to be converging towards the same design, form factor and features.

One boost converter generates bias voltages for LCD panels

Several bias voltages are needed for supplying and operating an LCD panel. In most cases, specialised integrated circuits with several charge-pumps are used to generate the different voltages. As the input of these devices is mostly restricted to voltages around 5V, a pre-regulator is needed, if it is to be used in an automotive application with the characteristically wide voltage range.

Simplifying design while increasing bandwidth

In modern communications systems, the more bandwidth that is available, the more information that can be transmitted. As bandwidth requirements increase, the need for faster and higher linearity A/D converters and amplifiers also increases.

Innovation in industrial connectors

With applications from heavy equipment, industrial automation and process control to building and civil engineering, as well as connectors machine tools, machinery and robotics, the market for industrial connectors is dynamic.

Industry leaders attend HyperCat Summit

Earlier this month, more than 400 leaders from industry and government attended the HyperCat Summit 2015: Smart Systems. Intelligent Universe. Topics discussed included: the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, smart industry and the rise of the smart city.

Understanding the thermal management of LEDs

While the LED market continues to grow at a rapid pace it seems there is still relatively limited understanding amongst engineers and designers of the principles behind thermal management of these devices. Knowing how to keep LEDs cool is crucial for harnessing their full potential and ensuring they work efficiently over a long life.

A more strategic approach to purchasing or renting test equipment

The market for technology is changing fast with digital processor speeds and data rates continually increasing, new frequencies opening up fresh options for developers, while across the wireless space new standards and regulations are continually being introduced; continuous improvements in analogue performance also have to be taken into account. "R&D teams, by their very nature, will be working at or beyond the leading edge in one or more of these domains," suggests George Acris, Head of Business Development (Europe) at Microlease, a company that specialises in the rental market for test equipment. "Test is key to their work and providing them with the right, up to date, equipment is a great challenge."

How plateauing clock speeds and increased data rates are changing test and measurement

A large misconception is that test data is purely pass/fail, but in reality this could not be further from the truth. The approach of traditional, fixed-functionality instruments is to send only the results back to the host PC of a test system. This results in much of the signal processing being hidden from the user within the box of the instrumentation. The speed of this signal processing is determined by the speed of the processor on board the instrument.

What needs to be done to drive demand from within the design community?

Talk to the proponents of PXI and they highlight its flexibility, scalability, footprint and speed and they point to the increasing size of the PXI module portfolio that is now available to engineers - PXI module manufacturers, software vendors and integrators are providing a host of new solutions across a growing number of industry segments.

Bristol based haptics start up has its eyes on a range of applications.

There is, on first sight, nothing new in haptics technology; an approach which relies on providing some kind of tactile feedback to the user. At the crudest level, a computer keyboard could be considered as haptic technology – when you press a key, you 'feel' that you have done it. But while input technology in general – such as touchscreens and gesture recognition, for example – is moving forwards rapidly, haptics technology hasn't made the same kind of progress. However, a Bristol based start up is looking to redress the balance.

Combatting the growing threat of UAVs

Unmanned aerial vehicles – UAVs or drones – are one of the hottest technologies at the moment. While the devices have been used by the military for some time, they are now becoming popular in the consumer sector, with users ranging from broadcasters, movie makers and photographers to people who just want to fly them for fun. Even Amazon is getting in on the act, with plans to use drones to deliver goods to wherever the purchaser may be.

Starting a new lifecycle for ETX/XTX applications

The first generations of Intel's popular Atom processors have now been discontinued. For ETX/XTX-based designs, congatec modules with the AMD Embedded G-Series APU step in as perfect successors offering all the required features. Hence, a new lifecycle for these legacy systems and consequently an increase in the ROI of OEMs' applications is possible.

Verification of RF performance using simple tools and test setups

Buzzwords like Industry 4.0, the IoT, Mobile Computing, and Cloud Computing can be found in many headlines in magazines. The common theme throughout is the development and rapid expansion of modern communication technologies rooted in RF communication. Wireless connectivity is everywhere you look: in the warehouse, the office, the car, at home, at sporting events, and in medical technology.

How can test and measurement companies address the needs of the life sciences sector?

With rapidly ageing populations, the rise of lifestyle diseases and advances in medical technology, the life sciences sector is experiencing what is being described by many as a period of significant transformation. Changes are affecting the clinical, regulatory and business environments, which means that pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical technology companies have to adapt the way in which they conduct their research.

You want to add security to your system, but where do you start?

Growing awareness of the Internet of Things has brought with it a desire amongst those building embedded systems to include some form of connectivity. But, as some of those designers have already found out to their cost, providing connectivity is one thing; providing security for such a system is another.

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.

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