Latest In Depth Technology News

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.

Terahertz technology is set to enter the mainstream, enabling better performance in a wide range of applications

Developing sources and detectors of electromagnetic radiation has been fundamental to scientific progress. But such devices have been lacking in one part of the spectrum – the so called 'terahertz gap'. This area, in which practical technologies for generating and detecting the radiation do not exist, lies between the microwave and infrared, covering frequencies from 0.1 to 10THz.

A new VITA specification is set to enable rugged systems the size of a Rubik's Cube

Since its early days, components for VME and similar systems have been measured in terms of units – or U. At the larger end of the scale, boards have been manufactured in the 6U format – measuring 19 x 10.5 x 19.5in. Many of these products were used in military applications and, at the time, size was not a major issue. In fact, the combination of ruggedness and ease of maintenance was more important.

Pre-empting and overcoming obsolescence

New Electronics talks to Debbie Rowland, Sales Manager at Charcroft, an independent, specialist distributor based in the UK, about how obsolescence management has and is changing and how organisations can better prepare and plan for obsolescence.

ARM-processor toolchains accelerate safety-critical compliance

With designers increasingly turning to ARM processors for safety-related applications spanning medical, transportation, avionics and industrial segments, the software that runs upon these processors has come under ever-tighter scrutiny as even the slightest error can have disastrous consequences.

Wireless IoT connectivity: which standards can be used?

Connections to the Internet of Things (IoT) will require an unprecedented level of networking in the future, and wireless networks will be playing a predominant role here. Standardisation is required for interoperability and compatibility reasons. However, a single standard will never be able to cover all use cases due to the enormous variety of applications. Some kind of categorisation is required to keep a clear picture.

A recently developed board format is being targeted at low power, high performance applications

There is no shortage of board formats available to product designers – and it seems there is always room for a new configuration to be introduced. One of the more recent formats to be unveiled is SMARC – short for Smart Mobility Architecture. The format was developed by SGET, the Standardisation Group for Embedded Technology. SGET was launched at Embedded World in 2012, with founding members including Advantech, congatec, Data Modul, Kontron, MSC and SECO.

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