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.

Monetising innovation

Electronics continues to find itself integrating deeper and deeper into the lives of consumers, and the ubiquity of smartphones, electric cars, entertainment systems, and energy-efficient homes and lighting should be creating a boom time for the industry. Indeed, it is hard to find products where the electronics is not now firmly the glue that makes everything work and come alive.

The focus is on exports, but will smaller UK companies be able to take advantage?

The UK has always had the reputation of being a trading nation, yet a quick look at the balance of payments show that imports continue to dominate exports; in fact, it's 30 years since the balance of trade was positive. In May 2015, the value of exports was £25.8billion, while imports were worth £32.8bn – a £7bn trade gap. The top five trading partners were Germany, the US, China, the Netherlands and France.

Is the UK electronics industry 'on the up'?

It's a decade since the Electronics Innovation and Growth Team's report painted the picture of a fairly invisible fragmented UK electronics industry with a lack of confidence. Those 10 years have seen significant change, but change needs to be continuous.

As battery technology becomes more sophisticated so must battery management systems

Pure electric car sales have grown by more than 50% in the year to date and, by some counts, that's ten times faster than the overall car market. The number of plug in cars in the UK, according to research from the RAC Foundation, more than tripled over the past 12 months, while figures from the forecaster LMC Automotive suggest sales of hybrid, electric and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles across Europe could top 360,000 units in 2015.

How deep learning is contributing to the development of artificial intelligence

Deep learning is the latest incarnation of the neural network, which inspired a number of chip designs in the late 1980s before researchers lost interest in using the technology for real-world applications: other algorithms turned out to be better at recognition tasks. Researchers then turned to techniques such as support vector machines in image processing and Gaussian models in speech recognition.

Addressing the challenges facing today's transport sector

There has to be a better way! How many times have we thought that when, having arrived at a railway station, you hear that services to your destination have been delayed or cancelled by a broken down train or you are stuck in a tail-back on the motorway when trying to get to the airport because of a naked man running amok. Apart from the last one, which happened to road users in the US, most of us regularly experience the frustrations associated with today's transport network.

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.

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