Optoelectronics

Optoelectronics play a critical role in the electronics industry. At one end, it provides the isolation needed in industrial systems. At the other, optoelectronics enables the transmission of data around the world using fibre optic cables.

In this section, New Electronics keeps visitors up to date with developments in the optoelectronics market, covering topics ranging from optocouplers to lasers to infrared emitters.

Ensuring soldier welfare

From rifles that can track targets to providing battlefield monitoring via augmented reality, the military is seriously engaging with wearable technology to help improve its capabilities.

Timing gets smart

Ethernet has come a long way since IEEE 802.3 was first published in 1980. First envisioned as a technology to connect PCs and workstations, it has gradually evolved to become the networking technology of choice for a broad range of applications across enterprise computing, data centre, wireless networks, telecommunications and industrial sectors.

Material advantages

Photonics and its subset optoelectronics is, like electronics a relatively young technology. Interest in the area started to grow in the early 1960s, with the development of the laser, but photonics really started to boom in the late 1970s as fibre optic communications came onto the scene.

COM modules in the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud-based solutions and Big Data represent major challenges for future system designs. The Microsoft Azure cloud is providing a framework to encapsulate these paradigms in manageable chunks allowing them to be mastered in a straight-forward way. MSC Technologies, producer of embedded hardware, has now certified its most popular COM products for the Azure Cloud, and is offering the software suite ‘Easy IoT’ which is a ready-to-run application for Azure.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

Tracksure sensor system to transform rail networks

Monitoring the rail network is a costly and time consuming endeavour, but the University of Huddersfield’s Institute of Railway Research (IRR) has developed a new sensor system that could transform the way in which networks are maintained by turning rail vehicles into track monitors.

Technology to improve firefighter safety

Building fires are, by their very nature, inhospitable environments. The combination of heat, a potentially toxic atmosphere, poor visibility and an unstable building can have fatal consequences, so it’s no surprise to find out that technology is being brought to bear in an attempt to improve safety, particularly when it comes to communication with and location of firefighters committed to a building.

Choosing between PCAP and resistive touchscreen technologies

Resistive touchscreens are typically found in retail electronic point of sale (EPOS) devices and companies have traditionally used them in industry. These have several layers, including two thin transparent, electrically resistive layers, separated by a thin space. When an object such as a fingertip or stylus tip presses down on the outer surface, the two layers touch to become connected. These touchscreens simply need enough pressure for the touch to be sensed and can be used while wearing gloves or other personal protective equipment (PPE).

Affordable next generation clusters

Sophisticated graphics displays in the instrument cluster are a proven way for makers of premium vehicles to add consumer appeal and cachet to new high-end models of car. Audi has won rave reviews for its ‘Virtual Cockpit’ instrument cluster in the 2016 TT roadster.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Editor's Choice

A single source of truth

Version control – increasingly a de facto part of the embedded software development ...

Apps processor attractions

When Freescale introduced the i.MX processor line in 2001, it’s probably fair to say ...

Power in their hands

The pressure on those developing new battery chemistries is increasing as consumers ...