Distribution

New Electronics brings you the latest news from the electronic components distribution sector, including updates on franchises, market information and the availability of new products. We also bring you updates from industry associations in the UK and Europe.

This section is updated regularly, so make sure you stay up-to-date with the latest distribution news by bookmarking this page.

Power supply standby voltage and off-load power draw

The use of a Standby Voltage on computer power supplies became widespread when the ATX specification was published in 1995. It enables a computer to be put into a low power consumption mode without fully powering down the processor, allowing a quick response when activated again. This was achieved by using a remote on/off signal to turn off the outputs, but still supplying a small amount of power to the processor from an independent voltage. This ‘Standby Voltage’ is always present even if the main outputs are inhibited using the remote on/off.

Solar generation is powering up, but faces a range of materials issues

In 2015 the global installed capacity for photovoltaics hit 180GW and the European Photovoltaic Industry Association reckons more than 0.5TWwill be generated from solar cells by the start of the next decade. Government incentives intended to stave off climate change and falling costs have helped push up production, but one of the ironies of a technology meant to change the way we harness energy is the amount that it takes to produce each square centimetre of photon-harnessing panel.

The surprising differences between ARM MCU cores that appear to be identical

There are many reasons why the ARM Cortex-M series of processor cores has come to dominate the market for 32bit microcontrollers. Across the many varieties of Cortex-M cores, design engineers can choose from an array of performance, power consumption and communications capabilities, allowing them to find an ARM based MCU which will be suitable for almost any application. And, by standardising on the Cortex-M family, OEMs not only benefit from a common instruction set, but also from an ecosystem of libraries, tools and firmware with which thousands of embedded engineers are already familiar.

MRAM is finding ways around the memory chasm

When Freescale started work on magnetic random access memory (MRAM) two decades ago, it looked as though it could provide a fast, low power memory that does not need a constant flow of current to store data. With a bit cell that looked to be competitive with DRAM, but with better storage behaviour than flash, MRAM offered the potential to be the ultimate memory.

Could a 1mm thick solid state battery drive the development of the IoT?

Researchers have been searching for alternatives to the ubiquitous lithium-ion battery for some time. A number of reasons support the research, including the need for greater energy density, lower self discharge and longer life. A further driver for this work is safety; lithium-ion batteries can be dangerous if they get too hot or are not charged correctly.

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.

What is viable and what is not with 3D printed enclosures

Unless you've been under a rock for the last 10 years, you will have heard about 3D printing. But many engineers are still wondering how they can use it for anything other than prototyping. However, 3D printing can provide a cost effective way to construct custom enclosures and this article will explain how, when and why you should consider using 3D printing for your product.

A layered approach to enhancing security for safety-critical software

Today’s safety-critical embedded environments are becoming more connected to the outside world. The ongoing growth of the Internet and IoT solutions will further drive connectivity requirements for safety-critical systems for the foreseeable future. Aerospace, defence, automotive, medical and industrial control are just some of the vertical markets that will expand as the ability to interconnect and remotely work with devices grows.

Sensors for a smart environment

Sensors have evolved from simple measuring tools to smart appliances that are connected through the internet to the cloud and to each other. At the recent ISSCC-conference, researchers from imec and Holst Centre presented a number of developments which may pave the way to a world where sensors assist us to drive more safely, live more healthily and make the planet more sustainable.

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