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.

Tracking WiFi signals to passively see through walls using NI USRP and LabVIEW

With dedication and a creative approach, University College London (UCL) research is helping to address the world's most urgent problems. Whether designing healthier cities or grappling with issues such as global health and climate change, the challenges of daily life inspire UCL students and academics. Based at UCL, our team of electrical engineering researchers is investigating passive radar technologies that can see through walls using WiFi radio waves.

Can optical technology solve the high performance computing energy conundrum?

In summer 2015, US president Barack Obama signed an order intended to provide the country with an exascale supercomputer by 2025. The machine would be 30 times more powerful than today’s leading system: China’s Tianhe-2. Based on extrapolations of existing electronic technology, such a machine would draw close to 0.5GW – the entire output of a typical nuclear plant. It brings into question the sustainability of continuing down the same path for gains in computing.

M2.COM Internet of Things sensor platform unveiled

According to its creators – Advantech, ARM, Bosch, Texas Instruments and Sensirion – M2.COM is an evolutionary module technology designed specifically for IoT sensors and devices. With networking, computing and data collection features on one module, M2.COM is intended to help transform obsolete applications into IoT generation solutions. The partners note the modular design is said to make the concept flexible enough to support different applications and to meet the changing demands of the IoT world.

Boosting the health of UK manufacturing industry using photonics technology

One of the big themes being pursued by the recently elected Conservative Government is the revival of manufacturing as one way to reduce the country’s dependence on the financial and services sectors. While the UK’s manufacturing sector remains in the world’s top 10, it has been drifting down the league table since the 1970s and productivity has been of particular concern.

Do UK contract manufacturers understand the concept of Industry 4.0, let alone employ it?

Contract manufacturers have an increasingly important role to play in the UK’s manufacturing ecosystem, whether that is in supporting volume production or new and emerging businesses looking to take new products from concept to volume assembly. According to figures from the Electronic Components Supply Network (ECSN), the CEM sector in the UK and Ireland now, in terms of demand, accounts for more than 40% of all electronic components by value.

Wireless Sensor Networking for the Industrial Internet of Things

Much is being made of the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) and the associated need for wireless connectivity for industrial sensors. But the networking needs of industrial devices and applications are distinct from the consumer world, with reliability and security high on the list. This article highlights some of the key network requirements specific to industrial wireless sensor networks.

Meeting the short term and long term requirements for IoT connectivity

As the concepts of the internet of things (IoT) starts to gather supporters within organisations, the numbers behind Gartner’s forecast that the IoT will comprise 50billion devices by 2020 starts to take shape. The challenge facing many organisations is so crucial to their future viability that no one can ignore it.

Making massive MIMOs for high speed short range comms

The communications issues related to the Internet of Things have been discussed over the last few years and a range of solutions is available, although some remain proprietary. But a new set of challenges is emerging as designers look to enable communications between devices taking advantage of nanotechnology.

Why security is critical to the success of IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) has exploded on to both the consumer and business markets in the last few years and is starting to have a major impact in almost every industry. From construction and manufacturing to retail and healthcare. Like it or not, IoT is here to stay.

Programmable matter could make evolutionary hardware a reality

First realised 20 years ago, evolutionary hardware design continues to fascinate a small group of researchers. The attraction is not difficult to understand; instead of trying to design behaviour or structure into a system manually, you let the system determine for itself how it should work. Just like biology – only you need it to happen in less than a few million years.

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