Communications Technology

Connectivity is a key feature of modern embedded products. There’s a wide range of communications modes that can be used, but which is the best for your design? Should you use a wireless technology such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and, if so, which one should that be? Or would wired communication, such as Ethernet, be the best way forward?

In this section, New Electronics reviews the latest communications technologies and brings visitors to the website information on how these technologies are being applied.

Satellite data use is rapidly expanding

The UK is once more seen as a leading space science nation, with companies focused on making satellite technology more affordable through smaller, lighter-weight satellites that lower the cost of commercial launches. The Government’s continuing commitment to the industry was highlighted in the recent Queen’s Speech to Parliament, which included a space industry Bill outlining its ambition to grow the UK’s share of the global space market from 6.5% to 10% by 2030.

Solution to heat challenges in UV LED modules

Applications using ultraviolet (UV) light were first used back in the 1900s, but it was not until the 1940s that it was used on an industrial scale curing resins and inks and being deployed to sterilise and then disinfect medical equipment.

Driving automation and connectivity innovation for smarter trucks

With the Google car and similar initiatives, almost all the focus in transportation is on self-driving cars. Trucks, however, could also benefit from extra automation and connectivity to enable preventive maintenance, improve safety, efficiency and cost. Might we therefore one day soon see trucks on our roads with no driver in the front seat?

Data infrastructure to make our cities 'smart'

Increasing urbanisation and growing populations mean that cities are growing at rate that many experts would say is ‘alarming’. Within a matter of just two or three years, 60% of the world’s population could be living in an urban environment, with all the challenges of energy and water supply, as well as delivering adequate transport and healthcare.

Millimetre-wave technology key to future 5G applications

The availability of new mmWave frequency bands will be key to achieving the ambitious mobile data rate targets associated with 5G. But what are the likely operating bands or the technology and packaging options that will help to realise those essential mmWave components?

New and old tech required to develop space apps

Generally large and imposing, it can safely be assumed that satellites – such as Gaia, the Rosetta probe and the Hubble Telescope – required many thousands of hours of designing and testing; not least because of the harsh radiation and thermal conditions in space.

mmWave sensors up their game

A revolution is unfolding amongst manufacturing companies, with an increasing number investing in smart factory technology – intelligent machines, devices and measurement and testing equipment – to monitor every critical parameter of the manufacturing process.

The IoT requires upgradable security

The Internet of Things (IoT) allows us to optimise and improve most aspects of modern life at an unprecedented scale. As billions of IoT devices unleash billions of dollars in economic value, the tremendous potential of the IoT is also attracting malicious adversaries and attackers.

Connectivity to enable the trusted digital enterprise

Manufacturing industry is on the cusp of a 4th wave of transformation that holds the promise of a step change in productivity. Industrial IoT business models are being defined with increased flexibility, co-operative human-machine interaction and the use of data analytics to identify trends and dynamic system relationships that were previously hidden or inaccessible.

Bringing LED solutions to market

Although it’s 15 years since LED lighting made its debut, take-up is accelerating across all areas of lighting, helped by its lower power consumption, longer lifespan, increased robustness and faster switching capabilities.

Powerful telescopes bring us closer to the Big Bang

Humankind has always wondered what secrets the universe was hiding in its starry depths and striven to understand how we fit into the bigger picture. This curiosity is still strong, as demonstrated by the number of powerful telescopes that have either been built recently or are under construction.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Interconnector and cabling system to address design challenges

The growth in connectivity, with billions of devices now connected around the globe, means the pressure is growing exponentially on the infrastructure that supports the collection and dissemination of data. Whatever the technical pressures, customers expect a seamless level of service.

Measuring RF power in the field

The output power of an RF or microwave system is a key determinant of its performance. For this reason, signal power is measured at every stage – from design and prototyping to maintenance in the field.

Bright future for fibre optical networks

In the last 30 years or so, the rate at which data can be sent down core fibre has increased by an amazing 10million times. And the UK has a long and enviable track record in this remarkable progress, with research groups and companies continuing to influence and drive the industry.

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