Latest In Depth Technology News

The demands placed upon frequency products manufacturers have never been greater

A critical parameter for electronic circuits in many applications is low jitter performance, due to its influence on data transfer. Whilst all the components in the overall circuit contribute to the jitter, the timing component has the biggest single impact. Quartz-based frequency products have been used for decades as they offer a highly stable frequency over a wide operating temperature range and, despite growing competition from silicon and MEMS-based products, they continue to provide excellent jitter performance.

Passives power ahead in defence applications

The materials and technologies being used to manufacture components such as capacitors, resistors and power supplies are changing and providing designers with components that are capable of delivering higher performance and greater stability.

High profile prosecution forces counterfeit components into the spotlight

Peter Picone is currently awaiting sentencing in the US for conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit military goods. A lengthy prison sentence is expected. The fall out relating to this case is not limited to the US military, since companies worldwide have sourced components through Picone's companies Epic International Electronics and, previously, Tytronix.

The computing power in a smartphone is set to enable a new level of intelligent assistance

When we have a serious conversation with a close friend, we depend on the fact that they know a lot about us, which enables them to anticipate what we might say and do in particular circumstances. And that means they can give us useful advice. If the proponents of the emerging field of anticipatory computing (AC) are right, that is exactly what mobile devices can now do – and will do much more of very soon.

Is your IP on show?

A trade show is a highly effective platform to raise awareness of your new product, discuss collaborative work within your technology or sector, as well as an ideal opportunity to gain inspiration, secure funding and seek out advice. Be cautious, however, that lack of IP planning doesn't mean losing more than you stand to gain in a competitive marketplace.

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.

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