Latest In Depth Technology News

Is industry ready for 5G?

Just less than a month ago, the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, used his budget speech to make a case for 5G, the next-generation mobile technology, and promised to invest £16million in a series of trials and to support research into the development of technology to underpin its deployment.

Keeping operating areas MOSFET safe

Mission critical servers and communications equipment must continue to operate, even as circuit boards and cards are plugged-in or pulled-out for maintenance and capacity adjustment.

A shift in the distribution sector

Change is something which the distribution sector has dealt with regularly over the last two decades or so – whether it was the move from catalogues to the web or the acquisition of companies stuck in a ‘no man’s land’ between the big broadliners and the smaller specialists.

Automotive market to benefit from Industry 4.0

?The automotive segment is often considered to be associated solely with cars and related applications. It is, however, much bigger than that; encompassing a broad range of applications such as buses, trucks, industrial vehicles, mobile machinery, forklifts, automated cleaning machines and emergency vehicles.

Functional abstraction to help achieve digital continuity

Model-based approaches to electrical and electronic system design – usually based on UML derived languages such as SysML – are frequently not suited to agile, iterative architecture optimisation. But there is another approach; one that uses standardised, hierarchical function models combined on a single abstraction level to describe the technical content of system architecture.

Distributors adapt to a changing market

Distributors, whether global, regional or local, have been seen as essential when it comes to supplying and supporting engineers but, over the past five years, those needs have changed and there has been a significant shift in buying behaviours, all of which has impacted across the supply chain.

Helping customers determine what sensor they need

Different force-sensing technologies have been around for decades, but Apple’s decision to incorporate force touch into its products has raised the technology’s profile. Rather than interacting with our smartphones or notebooks using simple taps, we can now control them in different ways, depending on how hard we press. Force-sensing solutions enable device-makers and software developers to create much more natural, intuitive and immersive user experiences for those using their kit. However, measuring and using the analogue, non-linear output from force sensors is an entirely different animal than integrating capacitive sensing or traditional buttons, so it’s vital to have the tools in place to make force-sensing solution design and high-quality mass production as straightforward and as reliable as current technologies are. This article looks at some of these emerging use cases, and explain the characteristics that force sensors must have if they’re to deliver the desired performance, particularly in mid-range and high-end applications.

Oscilloscope manufacturers are looking to supply more intelligent probes as engineers seek greater measurement accuracy

Connecting a probe to a device under test can prove to be a time consuming activity, especially in the case of the increasingly complex devices that are now entering the market. While the ideal probe should offer ease of connection, convenience, absolute signal fidelity, zero signal source loading and complete noise immunity, there is currently no ideal probe size or configuration.

Revolutionising networking technology

The networking world has largely been defined by the development of fixed function chips. While these devices have been one of the means by which data rates have increased, this has been achieved at the expense of configurability.

Subaru Saves 2,000 Man Hours with PXI-Based Hybrid Vehicle Testing

PXI has long been established as the de facto standard for building automated test systems, but its uses stretch beyond solely manufacturing or production test. With the PXI platform’s capability for running real-time operating systems or deploying code to FPGAs, it is also well suited to use earlier in the development process, particularly for complex devices like electronic control units (ECUs) and full authority digital electronics control (FADEC) systems.

Farming embraces the IoT

The farm is perhaps the last place where you would look for advanced technology. But pressures on food production make agriculture a prime candidate for harnessing the potential of automation and the IoT. Real-time data collection is the key to improving yields and making the most of precious resources.

Six techniques for measuring dielectric properties

If you think about dielectric properties at all, it is probably in the context of school physics experiments on charge storage, or perhaps the way in which the choice of dielectric materials influences the characteristics of a capacitor you’re working with. It turns out, though, that the dielectric properties of materials matter to all sorts of industries for different reasons. Measuring those properties accurately, therefore, is important in many contexts. This article looks at some key techniques for measuring dielectric properties, and some of the application areas for each of them.

Medical devices are driving innovations in sensors

The world today has become increasingly mobile with advancements in powerful and portable technologies and medical devices, traditionally used in hospitals and clinics, are also evolving to become more portable, creating possibilities in terms of home healthcare.

Are PCB design skills keeping up with increasing complexity?

It may seem something of an understatement, but Phil Mayo, director of sales for Altium UK, believes: “The PCB is important.” And perhaps that’s one reason why the workshop and conference sessions addressing PCB design at last year’s Electronics Design Show (EDS) attracted record numbers of engineers.

How can wearables designers navigate the compliance minefield?

With the global market for wearable devices growing rapidly, manufacturers are having to address the quality, performance and safety of their products without specific standards or regulations. According to market researcher Mintel, one Briton in seven now owns a wearable device, with some 3million wrist worn wearable devices sold in the UK in 2015 – a sales growth of 118%.

The choices involved in adding IP support to embedded systems

The tentacles of the internet are reaching further into the domain of deeply embedded systems that used, at most, to be attached to simple fieldbuses. Although the internet may stop short of ‘smart’ light bulbs that use Zigbee or Bluetooth to communicate, more organisations are looking at supporting the Internet Protocol (IP) directly in sensor nodes and smart actuators.

How to improve your product design efficiency

In an ideal world, when the hardware and software for a new product are mated and the power applied for the first time, everything works just as specified. But we don’t live in that ideal world; we live in a ‘buggy’ world where not everything goes as planned.

Managing devices securely over their lifecycle

Trust is inherently a fragile concept, based traditionally on knowledge and experience. And trust is something which is challenging to embody in a ‘new’ device. As such, the industry needs to develop new approaches to certify, validate and verify devices as they appear in the market. While regulation and guidance is a critical part of this, the problem is too large for a single government or industry regulator; instead, it must become part of the industry’s DNA of product creation, production and distribution.

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