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Latest In Depth Technology News

Virtual solution could spell the end for antennas

The fast pace of evolution of the wireless industry puts familiar time-to-market pressure on the engineering of every new mobile device. Being in the heart of every mobile product, the design of the RF front-end and, in particular, the antenna, becomes especially cumbersome - every product currently requires a fully customised antenna.

Embedding a single test solution

"There is this 'intersection' of software and hardware that needs to be controlled, essentially through a single interface. Not only an interface in terms of accessing the system, but also an interface for accessing things that a hardware engineer would want to know about, as well as access for software engineers as they do their development job." So says Larry Osborn, ASSET's product manager for Sourcepoint.

Getting your fix: Technology addiction

In today's world, technology is a vital fix for many kinds of problem. But, increasingly, it is becoming another kind of fix – and problem – for probably millions of people worldwide. Technology brings with it a powerful addiction.

Analogue designers continue to push the boundaries

Since 1954, the International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) has been the forum for presenting leading edge circuit designs. Whilst the focus over the years has shifted to digital designs, the conference continues to have significant analogue content, with sessions dedicated to such areas as data conversion and analogue techniques.

Boxes of tricks: Choosing the right enclosure for your design

Metal or plastic? Choosing an enclosure is not as straightforward as some might think, so what are the options when you are looking to house your precious electronic designs? Robert Cox, sales and marketing director of OKW Enclosures, gave his opinions on the pros and cons of the major enclosure materials of construction.

Fibre optic networks can provide the platform for security and monitoring

'Linear assets' is a term that covers anything from roads and railway to pipes and perimeter fences. Typically, these assets will have signage, sensors and equipment controlled from a single point somewhere along that asset, and that control data is transmitted through fibre optic cables These cables can also be used to provide low cost and accurate monitoring.

NFC yet to secure its role in securing mobile payments

Novel approaches, such as Host Card Emulation (HCE) and potential threats such as the emergence of Bluetooth Low Energy – another technology standard for exchanging data wirelessly over very short distances – have brought into sharp focus the disappointing pace of development of mobile Near Field Communications (NFC), notably for financial transactions.

Engineering solutions to EV range anxiety

Electric vehicles on general sale today offer adequate ranges for tasks such as commuting, shopping and urban journeys. Nissan, for example, claims up to 124 miles per full charge for its all electric Leaf, while Tesla suggests up to 310 miles for its Model S when specified with the optional 85kWh battery. Even so, range anxiety – the fear of running out of charge before journey's end – is recognised as a potential barrier to widespread acceptance of electric vehicles.

DSL technology could allow data to be sent to the home at 1Gbit/s

Once the plain old telephone service, the role of the telephone wire continues to be refashioned. The latest digital subscriber line (DSL) standard being developed – G.fast – uses 106MHz of phone wire spectrum to deliver gigabit broadband, a far cry from its original purpose of carrying a 3kHz voice call. The developments (see fig 1) complement fibre getting ever closer to the home.

Solving the system architecture jigsaw

Is a system architecture created from the apocryphal clean sheet of paper any longer? No, according to design consultancy Plextek's chief technology officer Paul Martin. "Have I ever had a clean sheet of paper to design on?" he wondered. "If I did, what was I guided by and what were the design constraints?" Pushed, he admitted he'd probably done it once, with a telecoms system.

Wanted: Tomorrow’s engineers

The decline in the number of students enrolling on engineering courses has been charted for some years now. A range of reasons has been put forward, but the bottom line is that the UK hasn't been producing enough engineers.

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