Consumer

The consumer electronics market is not only one of the fastest moving of all markets, it’s one of the broadest. With mobile phones, tablets and similar devices updated on a rapid time scale, consumers are always on the lookout for the latest products. Those involved in the the sector, as well as those looking to enter the consumer electronics market, need to keep up to date.

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

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.

Potential breakthroughs in battery technology

The pressure on those developing new battery chemistries is increasing as consumers demand the ability to use their electronic devices for longer between charges. And it seems that researchers are responding with a range of potential solutions, not only based on lithium, but also exploring other elements. Beyond that, solid state electrolytes are beginning to show promise.

What’s the best way to work out a system architecture?

The emergence of the Internet of Things has also seen the emergence of a string of start ups which have, in their opinions, good ideas for IoT products, but who lack the technical expertise that would allow them to get those ideas to market. One way for those companies to move forward is to work with a design consultancy; an organisation which, if necessary, can take that idea from the quintessential ‘back of the envelope’ all the way to manufacturing. But what does the consultant do when confronted with the germ of an idea?

Extending operating life through better power system architectures

Consumer demand for wearable technology is set to explode. Analyst firm Gartner estimates that, by the end of 2017, annual shipments of wearable devices will have exceeded 320million units, with revenues of $35billion. It is likely that smart watches and fitness monitoring systems, such as sports watches and wrist bands, will represent at least 60% of this total.

Novel navigational approach to product development

The risks and pitfalls of bringing a product to market on time and within budget are legion yet, as the IoT helps to lower the barriers associated with the deployment of new technology, a growing number of start-ups are looking to take their ideas to market.

Snapdragon processors for embedded systems

Since its establishment in 1985, Qualcomm has been involved in the mobile communications market, although its Qualcomm Technologies arm has made forays into other areas, such as MEMs based displays and wireless vehicle charging.

Low cost solutions for managing enterprise content

Up to 80% of a company’s document information can be contained in different or separate formats – such as Word, Excel, pdf and AutoCAD – according to Jurate Venskeviciute-Buciene, chief marketing officer at DocLogix, a specialist in document and process management.

High performance GUIs to improve wearable devices

High-end wearable devices such as smart watches are characterised by a rich functionality, a sophisticated graphical user interface (GUI) with touch operation and communication interfaces to a smartphone, tablet or PC – but also by extremely short battery life times.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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