Latest In Depth Technology News

The Sonic Internet

Whether in the smart home or in in-car entertainment the audio market is changing rapidly. The audio industry is enjoying a sustained period of rapid growth, particularly in key audio markets like the US and UK, and audio is becoming more important as developers look to create more immersive experiences in the fields of gaming and virtual reality.

Crystals expose hidden personalities

At the turn of the 19th Century, Friedrich Heusler was surprised to find he could unlock the magnetism inside the distinctly non-magnetic metals copper, manganese and tin by combining them.

Birmingham University is pioneering VR, AR, simulation and telerobotics systems

Established in 2003 by Professor Bob Stone, Birmingham University’s Human Interface Technologies (HIT) Team, based within the university’s School of Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering (EESE) has been a pioneer in the development of interactive media and telerobotic technologies in the UK, building on Stone’s long experience in virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality, simulation and telerobotics.

The changing face of customer engagement

The trends that have been affecting the electronics industry over the past few years are on-going and continuing to impact on distributors, whether that’s technology drivers, mergers and acquisitions among OEMs or customers relying more heavily on distributors to pick up the slack, as they look to cut back on their own direct sales and marketing capabilities.

RS-485 transceivers need protection against large over-voltages

Robustness and reliability have made RS-485 an industrial workhorse. A minimum differential signal swing of 1.5V and reliable operation over common-mode voltages ranging from -7V to +12V have catapulted its deployment. Initially used as a communication network in laboratory instrumentation, RS-485 can be found in applications ranging from building automation to traffic monitoring systems.

AI faces a power struggle if it is to be used more broadly

It is easy to see artificial intelligence (AI) as a naturally power-hungry technology; it demands racks of servers stuffed with a combination of multicore CPUs, GPUs and, increasingly, FPGAs that crunch through terabytes of data to form the connections between millions of virtual neurons.

The NPL is looking to prove that measurement matters

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) was established in 1900 with the aim of bringing ‘scientific knowledge to bear practically upon our everyday industrial and commercial life’ and, over the past 117 years, it has established itself as a world class centre of excellence in measurement science. Not only that it has maintained the nation’s primary standards of measurement while developing and contributing to a host of innovations and technologies, from radar to atomic clocks.

Going circular

Technology manufacturers are increasingly being encouraged to think about the circular economy – the concept that materials and goods should be kept in circulation for longer rather than follow the traditional ‘linear’ model of make, sell, use, then dispose.

Network transformation

Of all the new semiconductor device technologies that have been introduced over the past few years, gallium nitride (GaN) is arguably generating the most far-reaching effect across a number of different applications areas.

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.

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