Latest In Depth Technology News

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.

Innovation in industrial connectors

With applications from heavy equipment, industrial automation and process control to building and civil engineering, as well as connectors machine tools, machinery and robotics, the market for industrial connectors is dynamic.

Industry leaders attend HyperCat Summit

Earlier this month, more than 400 leaders from industry and government attended the HyperCat Summit 2015: Smart Systems. Intelligent Universe. Topics discussed included: the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, smart industry and the rise of the smart city.

Understanding the thermal management of LEDs

While the LED market continues to grow at a rapid pace it seems there is still relatively limited understanding amongst engineers and designers of the principles behind thermal management of these devices. Knowing how to keep LEDs cool is crucial for harnessing their full potential and ensuring they work efficiently over a long life.

A more strategic approach to purchasing or renting test equipment

The market for technology is changing fast with digital processor speeds and data rates continually increasing, new frequencies opening up fresh options for developers, while across the wireless space new standards and regulations are continually being introduced; continuous improvements in analogue performance also have to be taken into account. "R&D teams, by their very nature, will be working at or beyond the leading edge in one or more of these domains," suggests George Acris, Head of Business Development (Europe) at Microlease, a company that specialises in the rental market for test equipment. "Test is key to their work and providing them with the right, up to date, equipment is a great challenge."

How plateauing clock speeds and increased data rates are changing test and measurement

A large misconception is that test data is purely pass/fail, but in reality this could not be further from the truth. The approach of traditional, fixed-functionality instruments is to send only the results back to the host PC of a test system. This results in much of the signal processing being hidden from the user within the box of the instrumentation. The speed of this signal processing is determined by the speed of the processor on board the instrument.

What needs to be done to drive demand from within the design community?

Talk to the proponents of PXI and they highlight its flexibility, scalability, footprint and speed and they point to the increasing size of the PXI module portfolio that is now available to engineers - PXI module manufacturers, software vendors and integrators are providing a host of new solutions across a growing number of industry segments.

Bristol based haptics start up has its eyes on a range of applications.

There is, on first sight, nothing new in haptics technology; an approach which relies on providing some kind of tactile feedback to the user. At the crudest level, a computer keyboard could be considered as haptic technology – when you press a key, you 'feel' that you have done it. But while input technology in general – such as touchscreens and gesture recognition, for example – is moving forwards rapidly, haptics technology hasn't made the same kind of progress. However, a Bristol based start up is looking to redress the balance.

Combatting the growing threat of UAVs

Unmanned aerial vehicles – UAVs or drones – are one of the hottest technologies at the moment. While the devices have been used by the military for some time, they are now becoming popular in the consumer sector, with users ranging from broadcasters, movie makers and photographers to people who just want to fly them for fun. Even Amazon is getting in on the act, with plans to use drones to deliver goods to wherever the purchaser may be.

How to design increasingly complex boards in less time

Boards are becoming increasingly complex, with more components being placed on smaller areas. According to figures from Mentor Graphics, layer counts have stayed the same during the last five years, but area has dropped by almost a third and densities have risen by 25%.

Starting a new lifecycle for ETX/XTX applications

The first generations of Intel's popular Atom processors have now been discontinued. For ETX/XTX-based designs, congatec modules with the AMD Embedded G-Series APU step in as perfect successors offering all the required features. Hence, a new lifecycle for these legacy systems and consequently an increase in the ROI of OEMs' applications is possible.

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