Latest In Depth Technology News

How technology could boost the efficiency of future cities

'Future cities' is not, directly, about shaping British cities to match the needs of the future and to encourage them to flourish, although that was how the Future Cities Catapult came about. Instead, said Scott Cain, the Catapult's executive director for Strategy, Business Development and Communications: "Our brief is help UK firms meet the needs of the world's cities. Like everything else the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) funds, it is aimed at driving business growth."

Catapults: Should there be a tighter focus on technology?

The Catapults were created in response to a report by Dr Hermann Hauser addressing the future for what was the Technology and Innovation Centre network. The idea was to create a new structure that would allow the UK to commercialise its R&D activities more effectively.

Powering mobile devices with ICs is becoming easier

Whilst low power precision components have enabled rapid growth of the mobile device market, those portable products targeted at industrial, medical and military applications typically have much higher standards for reliability, run time and robustness. Much of this burden falls on the power system and its components.

Applied Micro reaps the benefits of X-Gene ARMv8 processors

In 2010, Applied Micro made a strategic decision; courageous or foolhardy, depending upon where you sat in the communications processor world. That decision was to sign an architectural licence for ARM's 64bit v8 processor cores and to embark on the design of a multicore device.

Analogue SoCs set to bring designers a signal chain in a package

It's hard to disagree with Microchip's contention that analogue design is difficult and takes time. Analogue design is an area which requires experience and often a degree of creativity. It's also an area where there is a decline in specialists. Yet modern designs are still as reliant as they have ever been on analogue circuitry – and some would say even more so.

Designing for rail: The importance of specifying the right connectors

The rail sector appears to be on the right track across Europe but particularly in the UK. HS2, which is still on the horizon, is a topic for much discussion, but there are plenty of major active projects. Highlights include: the Intercity Express Programme, that will see Hitachi bring new rolling stock for mainline services in three years; the ongoing Thameslink project that is cutting through (or under) the centre of London; and Crossrail, Europe's biggest infrastructure project, which will see new trains supplied by Bombardier.

How do T&M companies validate the performance of their products?

Boundaries are there to be pushed. Designers, particularly in the communications sector, are pushing those boundaries aggressively by creating products that carry more data, run faster and use less power. Designing your product is one thing; testing it is another, so engineers turn to similarly leading edge products from test and measurement specialists. But how does a T&M company that has, for example, a 70GHz oscilloscope test that product? Who tests the tester?

Fairchild has its sights on the wearables market

Wearable electronics is a burgeoning market, with some analysts claiming sales could reach $8billion a year by 2018. While that's good news for those developing wearable products, it's also good news for those companies developing MEMS based devices, because many wearables will be enabled by them.

Process aims to take the thermal stresses off the electronics

'Big Data' is big and getting bigger. As the world moves from analogue to digital, all of that data passes through and is stored in data centres. And on top of the data stored there is also the move to do more computation in the cloud. The more data going in and around, the bigger the data centres get, the more power they use and the more heat is generated – although data centres that are devoted to storage do less processing and generate less heat than a centre whose main function is cloud computing.

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