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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.

Having the right partners is essential for electronics companies looking to be successful in defence

A CV of the UK would list defence as one of its key skills. While some may put this down to an unduly turbulent history, it is probably more accurate to attribute it to innovation and clever application of related technologies. Although it lays claim to almost an eighth of the world's arms trade (see p16), the UK is not known for producing large volumes of standard equipment. It is the high end, high technology equipment that comes from these shores.

The IoT is generating a lot of activity, but what are the implications for operating systems?

There is general agreement that, within the next five years or so, some 20billion devices will be linked together to create the Internet of Things. Each device, no matter where it sits in the network, will need to communicate and that ability will be underpinned by an operating system. But what will that OS look like? Will today's offerings adapt to life 'on the edge' or will a new wave of targeted OSs find more success?

IP advice: Better by design

New Electronics has partnered with leading intellectual property law firm D Young & Co LLP to offer guidance to companies on how to protect their IP. In this issue, Matthew Dick, partner, and Charlotte Musgrave, associate, look at how to protect a product's visual appearance.

Catapults provide UK’s missing link

Although still in its infancy, the Catapult programme is starting to make its presence felt. The Catapults, of which there are seven, have the role, according to Director of Catapults Simon Edmonds, of 'pulling through and commercialising faster, technology that has been developed themselves or in partnership with universities'. "They are in this middle ground between universities and early stage research, and businesses who are doing real product development."

Data is everywhere, but how can it be useful?

Whilst the other Catapults are vertical, the first notable thing about the Connected Digital Economy Catapult is that it is inherently horizontal. CEO Neil Crockett commented: "We have our own sector focus, which is everything from digital creative right the way through to silicon chips. But we also underline all the other Catapults; they are all becoming digital in what they are doing, so I guess we are probably the widest Catapult of them all."

Catapult aims to exploit space data

'To innovate for a better world, empowered by satellites' is the stated aim of the Catapult, but to add more direction to this all encompassing mission statement, chief technical officer Paul Febvre commented: "We need to focus on what satellite data is going to be used for, how is it going to be used in the future, how is it going to be relevant to society."

Smart transport: Why integrating systems is key to improving mobility

Traditionally, transport – and passenger transport in particular – has been provided in a non integrated way. The Transport Systems Catapult has been set up to change this. "We call the market we focus on intelligent mobility," stated Paul Zanelli, chief technical officer, "which is the efficient and cost effective movement of goods and people."

How technology could boost the efficiency of future cities

'Future cities' is not, directly, about shaping British cities to match the needs of the future and to encourage them to flourish, although that was how the Future Cities Catapult came about. Instead, said Scott Cain, the Catapult's executive director for Strategy, Business Development and Communications: "Our brief is help UK firms meet the needs of the world's cities. Like everything else the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) funds, it is aimed at driving business growth."

Catapults: Should there be a tighter focus on technology?

The Catapults were created in response to a report by Dr Hermann Hauser addressing the future for what was the Technology and Innovation Centre network. The idea was to create a new structure that would allow the UK to commercialise its R&D activities more effectively.

Powering mobile devices with ICs is becoming easier

Whilst low power precision components have enabled rapid growth of the mobile device market, those portable products targeted at industrial, medical and military applications typically have much higher standards for reliability, run time and robustness. Much of this burden falls on the power system and its components.

Applied Micro reaps the benefits of X-Gene ARMv8 processors

In 2010, Applied Micro made a strategic decision; courageous or foolhardy, depending upon where you sat in the communications processor world. That decision was to sign an architectural licence for ARM's 64bit v8 processor cores and to embark on the design of a multicore device.

Analogue SoCs set to bring designers a signal chain in a package

It's hard to disagree with Microchip's contention that analogue design is difficult and takes time. Analogue design is an area which requires experience and often a degree of creativity. It's also an area where there is a decline in specialists. Yet modern designs are still as reliant as they have ever been on analogue circuitry – and some would say even more so.

Designing for rail: The importance of specifying the right connectors

The rail sector appears to be on the right track across Europe but particularly in the UK. HS2, which is still on the horizon, is a topic for much discussion, but there are plenty of major active projects. Highlights include: the Intercity Express Programme, that will see Hitachi bring new rolling stock for mainline services in three years; the ongoing Thameslink project that is cutting through (or under) the centre of London; and Crossrail, Europe's biggest infrastructure project, which will see new trains supplied by Bombardier.

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