Latest In Depth Technology News

Do You Have a Plan B?

Being a Sci-Fi geek, I am a fan of the late 1950’s Hollywood “cheesy” low budget Ed Wood movies typical of this genre. One of my favorites is: “Plan 9 from Outer Space,” in which aliens come to Earth to stop humanity from building a doomsday weapon that could destroy the entire universe. However, things did not go quite as planned and the aliens were annihilated. Clearly, the aliens did not have a plan B, just in case plan 9 did not work!

Squeezing more out of less

How is innovation in rechargeable lithium cells helping designers to overcome power limitations in miniature devices? Matthias Dorsch explains.

Power first and last in consumer electronics

The consumer electronics market continues to be driven by smart phones, UHD TVs, wearable devices and virtual reality (VR). But while the smartphone continues to dominate and VR appears to beapproaching a tipping point, with new devices being unveiled this year, it is the wearable market that is seeing rapid growth. It should be noted, though, that many consumer technologies are perceived as having moved beyond what is described as the ‘hype cycle’ and are no longer viewed as technical novelties or gadgets.

Can optical technology solve the high performance computing energy conundrum?

In summer 2015, US president Barack Obama signed an order intended to provide the country with an exascale supercomputer by 2025. The machine would be 30 times more powerful than today’s leading system: China’s Tianhe-2. Based on extrapolations of existing electronic technology, such a machine would draw close to 0.5GW – the entire output of a typical nuclear plant. It brings into question the sustainability of continuing down the same path for gains in computing.

Critical steps in getting products to market

It is said that, within the electronics industry, only one in seven product concepts is a commercial success and just 25% of product designs prove to be a winner. This is also applicable across the UK and in all sectors. So what is going wrong and why do so many fall by the wayside?

There's still growing demand for DSP, say experts

Eight years ago, a New Electronics article about digital signal processors started: ‘Jump back a decade or more and there was little difficulty identifying just what digital signal processing was. Neither was there any problem in identifying a DSP. But times change. Today, DSP as a technique is beginning to disappear from view, hidden within applications. Whilst DSPs are still being produced, they are beginning to evolve into different types of device’. You could argue that statement still has validity. So what is the ‘state of the DSP nation’?

Can 3D printing transform PCB prototyping?

The hardware and software powering today’s electronic devices have evolved at breakneck speed, but one crucial bottleneck remains – prototyping, in particular unforeseen and costly delays during PCB development. In response 3D printing is now being deployed in the production of professional PCBs delivering benefits in terms of time savings, costs and innovation.

How innovation in rechargeable lithium cells is helping designers overcome power limitations in miniature devices

Designers of portable electronics products are familiar with the related challenges of space and weight reduction. It seems there is no limit to consumers’ desire for their devices to be thinner, lighter and sleeker. And in a product such as an earbud (or in-ear speaker), the form factor is absolutely constrained – in this case, by the size of the human ear.

M2.COM Internet of Things sensor platform unveiled

According to its creators – Advantech, ARM, Bosch, Texas Instruments and Sensirion – M2.COM is an evolutionary module technology designed specifically for IoT sensors and devices. With networking, computing and data collection features on one module, M2.COM is intended to help transform obsolete applications into IoT generation solutions. The partners note the modular design is said to make the concept flexible enough to support different applications and to meet the changing demands of the IoT world.

Part art, part science

The development of backplanes for high performance designs is certainly challenging. The key appears to be ‘don’t do it yourself’, especially if you are looking at customised designs.

A layered approach to enhancing security for safety-critical software

Today’s safety-critical embedded environments are becoming more connected to the outside world. The ongoing growth of the Internet and IoT solutions will further drive connectivity requirements for safety-critical systems for the foreseeable future. Aerospace, defence, automotive, medical and industrial control are just some of the vertical markets that will expand as the ability to interconnect and remotely work with devices grows.

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