Latest In Depth Technology News

As security becomes an important part of the design process, what are the issues?

A report published earlier in 2017 by consumer body Which? reinforced the perception that companies designing products for the Internet of Things don’t take security seriously enough. In what it called a ‘snapshot’ investigation, it set up a network featuring such smart gadgets as wireless cameras, smart padlocks and children’s toys, then hired a team of ethical security researchers to hack it. While some of the devices proved harder to hack than others, eight of the 15 appliances on the network had at least one security flaw.

Living on the Edge

As the deployment of Industrial IoT systems continues to proliferate, the streams of data transferred to the cloud skyrockets, drastically increasing the cost for cloud computing.

Beyond the threshold

Given the massive spikes in power consumption incurred by microprocessors and memory when they ramp up to top speed, it is no surprise that much of the attention in circuit design is aimed at trying to find ways to keep digital power under control.

Research excellence

Set up in 1956 Roke Manor Research has over the past 60 years established itself as a world-class electronics engineering consultancy.

FireFly’s revolutionary smart harvesting machines

Hand-stacked turf harvesting is still widely used in the industry. Farm equipment companies have tried to build machines to automate turf slab cutting and stacking over the years to improve productivity, but the machines’ traditional approach makes them either perform inconsistently or increase productivity only slightly more than the hand-stacking process. They incorporate common mobile equipment such as electrically operated valves that control fluid power to hydraulic cylinders and motors for motion control. Though reliable for simpler systems, these components have been less effective for performing many parallel operations in tight synchronisation with other processes as well as implementing the complex math needed for advanced signal processing and high-speed motion control trajectory generation. In addition, limited data processing power and closed system architectures limit advanced functionality and remote monitoring and diagnostics.

It’s the little things

It’s not that many years ago that MEMS devices were regarded as something of a novelty, with early applications focused mainly in the automotive industry – airbag deployment, for example.

Close to the edge

There is a tension that lies at the heart of the software defined network (SDN). Telecom and datacom operators have seized on it because the idea of software-based control makes everything more flexible and it is only natural that demand for more responsive communications services should push technology in that direction.

Securing V2X communications

Test drive any new car and you’ll discover the automotive industry is in the middle of a connected car revolution. From rear view cameras and blind spot detectors to adaptive cruise control and lane assist, an unprecedented amount of electronics is being added each year in the name of improving safety and the driving experience.

It’s Time to Overdesign for Flexibility - Don’t Let the IIoT Catch You With Your Head in the Sand

Tired of the countless articles talking about the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)? Surely all of the pundits, industry-leading companies, and technology providers excited to share their perspective on the growing impact of the IIoT have exhausted the topic. Instead of focusing on what the IIoT is, this article takes the opposite approach and talks about what the IIoT isn’t. Let’s be honest, the IIoT isn’t defined. It isn’t a known target with a clear set of parameters and rules. But there’s one thing we do know—as we build and define the IIoT, it’s critical that providers overdesign their technology offerings for flexibility.

Powering industry change

Over the last decade or so, the semiconductor content of cars has increased dramatically; not only in terms of value, but also in terms of the number of components being deployed.

Managing standards

With over 860 members the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) produces globally applicable standards for a broad range of information and communications technologies, from fixed, mobile and radio to broadcast and Internet technologies.

Smaller, lighter and faster

Emerging technologies, whether that’s artificial intelligence, the use of big data analytics, or smart wearable devices and drones, are being appropriated by the world’s military in order to improve the effectiveness and capabilities of their armed forces.

Rising to the acceleration challenge

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and deep learning is the future of computing. Intelligent machines that understand the world as humans do, interpret our languages and learn from data will habitually be used to resolve problems too complex for the human brain.

Under exposure

Chipmakers are set to break the 10nm barrier as they move from the test-chip stage to full production on 7nm processes. The move marks another extension of a lithography technology that was meant to be phased out 15 years in favour of so-called next-generation lithography.

An in-house prototyping revolution

At a time when the capabilities of electronic products are breaking new ground, it could be true to say that their potential is being held back by design, development and production processes that haven’t kept pace with the speed of innovation.

The marine revolution

The global shipping industry has witnessed a series of revolutions over the past 150 years, including the transition from sail to steam and the advent of containerisation in the 1960s.

Keeping pace with increasingly intelligent machines

Embedded systems are providing new levels of efficiency, performance, and safety to off-highway vehicles. Advances in fuel-efficiency through improved combustion techniques and hybrid powertrains are impacting the cost to operate while automatic GPS navigation and software-enabled implements are allowing equipment to accomplish more during operation.

Meeting the PCB design challenge

Although the IoT is still in its early days, applications developers are already looking to put more electronics into smaller packages. Not only that, many products are being designed to fit into odd shapes or to fit into whatever space may be available in existing devices.

Core competence

It will probably be no surprise to discover that applications are becoming more complex, with connectivity just one of the drivers. And, as applications become more complex, the number of sensors grows, as does the need for more capable user interfaces.

Climbing the greasy pole

Engineering companies are becoming more complex as trade becomes more global, logistics grows in importance and technology becomes more advanced. All of this needs management, but for many in UK industry, the terms ‘engineering’ and ‘management’ are mutually exclusive. While engineers are good at engineering, they may not consider becoming a manager of something beyond their immediate department.

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