Industrial

Electronics underpins many industrial systems; with applications ranging from programmable logic controllers to sensors to communications. But the market has its particular requirements, including reliability and immunity to the often hostile environment. This means companies involved in the sector, as well as those looking to supply products to those building industrial applications, need to keep up to date.

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

Solutions at hand to test 3D-stacked IC technology

Research on 3D stacked IC (3D-SIC) technology has advanced to the point where most semiconductor companies have released or announced 3D-SIC products. These packages require multiple chip dies to be stacked vertically, which results in dense integration in an ultra-small footprint, but with benefits in terms of performance, power and cost.

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.

Getting a lock on small signals

Phase sensitive or lock-in amplifiers can extract low level signals in the presence of relatively high noise and, recently, there has been growing interest in their use in portable or embedded instrumentation and sensing applications.

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?

Academia expresses post Brexit concerns

Since the announcement in the Queen’s Speech to Parliament in May 2015 that a referendum would be held on the UK’s continuing membership of the European Union (EU), there have been considerable expressions of concern about the potential effect of a withdrawal on the country’s research and development efforts.

Europe's largest construction project: Crossrail

Work on Crossrail, or the Elizabeth Line, Europe’s largest construction project started eight years ago. A complex engineering project, it runs 100km from Reading and Heathrow in the west, underground across London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. The first rail services running through central London are due to start at the end of 2018 and, once complete, the new line is expected to be able to handle more than 200million passenger journeys a year.

How to cope with data intensive IoT applications

The downstream performance requirements of SaaS and streaming services are increasing constantly. The same goes for upstream workloads, which are rising dramatically as a result of IoT applications with voice control or with tens of thousands of vision sensors.

Changes in the test and measurement market

With enormous change in the types of product coming to market and the way in which they are being designed, it is obvious that those companies that deliver test and measurement equipment are also having to adapt.

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.

Innovation and integration in the oscilloscope world

It’s probably fair to say that an electronic engineer’s ‘go to’ instrument is an oscilloscope. Recognising that, test and measurement product developers have regularly updated their portfolios; not only adding more features, but also providing devices which meet a much broader range of user needs.

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.

New technology to impact on future liability

Defective products or work represent the largest cause of liability loss for businesses, accounting for 43% of the value of all claims in the UK. The average value of such claims is in excess of £312,000, with the cost of product recalls a major factor.

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.

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