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£32million for functional materials R&D

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has announced funding for 10 research projects that are expected to develop new and exciting functional materials, as well as accelerate the application of the materials. The projects, which will involve 17 universities, are receiving funding of £32.1million.

Crossbar claims a solution to RRAM sneak path current problem

Resistive RAM pioneer Crossbar says it has developed a method which suppresses the sneak path current; an effect which makes it difficult to read data reliably from individual memory cells. Without this ability, the company says, RRAM developers cannot deliver high density 3D memory arrays.

Plastic film based RFID transponder runs from 0.55V supply

An ultra low power RFID transponder chip that operates from a supply of less than 1V was described by Belgian research centre imec at the recent IEDM conference. The device, created using thin film transistor technology (TFTs) on plastic film, is said to pave the way for such applications as item level RFID tagging, body area networks and environmental monitoring.

Beware of ‘wiggle words’ says certification specialist

According to certification specialist SGS, the phrase that manufacturers and importers should avoid, as part of a disclosure, is 'to the best of my knowledge'. It says this seemingly innocent statement is often used to cover up a lack of objective evidence or, in the worst case, is an attempt to cover up a known lack of compliance or the fact that a component or material contains a non conforming chemical.

AFM cantilever features integral calibration sensor

The atomic force microscope (AFM) is used by scientists to resolve features as small as individual atoms. Instead of magnifying with a lens, AFMs use a flexible cantilever with a tiny tip to 'feel' the surface. As a nanoscale feature is passed, interactions between the atoms on the tip and on the object's surface cause the cantilever to bend, revealing the finest of details.

Graphene-sulphur combo battery ‘extremely promising’

As part of the wider attempts to create smaller batteries that can be recharged for longer and which offer more power, researchers at the University of Cambridge, along with a team from the Beijing Institute of Technology, have developed what is described as a 'novel multifunctional sulphur electrode'.

Charity offers £10m grant to support big data research

Engineering related research and education charity Lloyd's Register Foundation has offered a conditional grant of £10million over five years to support research by the Alan Turing Institute into the engineering applications of big data. The offer, subject to specific areas of research being finalised, follows the Foundation's Foresight report, examining how big data might impact the safety and performance of engineering assets and infrastructure in such areas as energy, transportation and shipping.

Graphene and lead interaction could enhance spintronics

Researchers from IMDEA Nanoscience, the Autonomous University of Madrid, the Madrid Institute of Materials Science (CSIC) and the University of the Basque Country have used lead atoms and graphene to create a powerful magnetic field. The team believes this could have application in spintronics.

Choppy market conditions set to continue for UK distributors

Despite economic growth running at 3% the UK electronic components market remains tough. The core industrial markets, where the majority of purchasers of electronics components in the UK operate, started to show signs of recovery in the second quarter of 2014, only for that recovery to be overshadowed by weakness in Europe.

FPGAs 'essential' to electronics design engineers

FPGAs are becoming an increasingly important tool in the electronics designer's armoury. But while the devices are being applied in a wide range of markets, there is a suspicion that FPGA skills across UK industry may not be matched to the application needs.

‘Appcessory’ measures air quality

Korean based SK Telecom has launched Air Cube, a portable monitoring device that measures air quality and suggests appropriate actions at emergencies via a designated application on user's smartphone.

Raspberry Pi goes to space

Two modified Raspberry Pi's will be sent into space with British astronaut Tim Peake next year, as part of a school coding competition organised by UK Space and the European Space Agency.

IEDM’s 60th anniversary features more than 200 papers

The IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) – the leading forum for the presentation of advances in microelectronic, nanoelectronic and bioelectronic devices – will celebrate its 60th anniversary when it gets underway next week in San Francisco.

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