Automotive

Electronics is becoming increasingly important to the automotive sector, enabling the systems which we all expect to find in the latest cars. But those involved in the the sector, as well as those looking to enter the automotive supply chain, need to keep up to date.

New Electronics covers developments in the automotive sector, bringing technology updates and opinion from the market.

Silicon carbide technology reaches tipping point

While silicon currently remains the material of choice of power devices, there is little headroom available to improve figures of merit such as on resistance and gate charge. However, there appears to be more room for manoeuvre with alternative materials and two such materials which are focusing the attention of device developers are silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN).

How small diameter electrolytic capacitors in power supplies can impact reliability and cost

Recently a member of TDK-Lambda’s technical marketing team experienced first-hand just how much influence small diameter electrolytic capacitors can have on long-term power supply reliability. Unfortunately he picked February to have his central heating system upgraded and Britain’s unpredictable weather system delivered snow. The seven year old boiler system in the loft had been turned off for two days while the radiators were replaced. When the installation was complete, the boiler was switched on, but failed to start

Issues involving convoluted neural networks

Since their invention more than 50 years ago, neural networks have enjoyed periods of popularity in the research community, then languished nearly forgotten in between. A massive increase in computing power and novel approaches to artificial-neuron training brought neural networks in from the cold 10 years ago and they have now reached the point where the algorithms are not only being deployed in servers, but are also beginning to move into embedded systems. But that shift calls for a massive improvement in their efficiency.

UK universities getting better at commercialising research

The relationship between universities and new technology start-ups is crucial and the UK has been relatively poor at the commercialisation of ideas, let alone commercial success. Should it be about the jobs that are created or should the financial returns from technological innovation be the sole driver of whether university research is worthwhile?

Will MRAM replace flash in leading edge processes?

As microcontrollers run at faster clock rates and the amount of software needed in embedded systems increases, developers are becoming more interested in embedding memory on chip, rather than transferring data to and from an external device.

Demand for automotive sensors is booming

According to a new report ‘Global Markets for Automotive Sensor Technologies’, the global market for automotive sensors could be worth more than $26billion this year, rising to in excess of $43bn by 2021.

Tracksure sensor system to transform rail networks

Monitoring the rail network is a costly and time consuming endeavour, but the University of Huddersfield’s Institute of Railway Research (IRR) has developed a new sensor system that could transform the way in which networks are maintained by turning rail vehicles into track monitors.

Simplifying industrial control design

The face of industry is changing as the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) promises a future in which highly connected machines communicate, coordinate, and make decisions autonomously.

Affordable next generation clusters

Sophisticated graphics displays in the instrument cluster are a proven way for makers of premium vehicles to add consumer appeal and cachet to new high-end models of car. Audi has won rave reviews for its ‘Virtual Cockpit’ instrument cluster in the 2016 TT roadster.

Security risks in the connected world

To say the Internet of Things (IoT) is here to stay may be the understatement of the decade. We are all knee-deep in the IoT and there is no turning back – gone are the days of thinking connecting refrigerators, security systems and vending machines to the Internet is in a land far, far away.

Focusing light on industry’s problems

One of the longest established such centres in the UK, the Institute of Photonics at the University of Strathclyde is working in optogenetics and neurophotonics, as well as more traditional areas such as solid state lasers.

A move to brushless DC motors

Replacing mechanically driven motors with electrically commutated solutions doesn’t come without specific design considerations. In the automotive sector, the use of electric motors in applications such as power steering, cooling and fluid pumping, offers control, reliability and efficiency advantages over mechanical counterparts and it seems the automotive industry has yet to finish this transition. Market analysts report that more manufacturers are now choosing brushless DC motors (BLDCs) over brushed (internally commutated) electric motors, providing higher levels of control, reliability and efficiency.

Keeping compliant with all relevant EC Directives

A raft of new CE Marking Directives was implemented earlier in 2016. Amongst the nine new pieces of legislation was the third edition of the EMC Directive and new Low Voltage and ATEX Directives. Rather unusually, the changes to eight of the nine Directives were identical and furthermore the ninth contains the same changes as part of a wider overhaul. So why new the Directives and what are the implications for manufacturers?

What is the difference between FDM and Polyjet 3D printing technology?

Whether you’re buying your first 3D printer or upgrading from one you’ve been running for years, it's important to understand the differences between the two leading printing technologies. Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) and Polyjet each build 3D models layer by layer, but while the process by which they do this differs greatly, the one you choose to buy will likely be determined less by the technology itself than by the kind of models or tools you need for production.

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