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Design suite brings 'major productivity advances'

Xilinx has released the Vivado Design Suite 2015.1, said to include major productivity advances. Included in the release are: the Vivado Lab Edition; accelerated Vivado Simulator and third party simulation flows; interactive clock domain crossing analysis; and advanced system performance analysis with the Xilinx Software Development Kit.

Mentor updates RTOS for wearable market

Although its Nucleus real time operating system is installed in more than 3billion devices, Mentor Graphics has expanded it to address the power consumption, multicore and IoT requirements of wearable devices.

Shining light on photonics

To mark 2015 the International Year of Light, the University of Southampton has introduced Photonics4All, a project to highlight the importance of photonics.

IBM claims quantum computing breakthroughs

IBM says its researchers have made two critical advances in their efforts to build a practical quantum computer. The team has shown that both kinds of quantum error – bit flip and phase flip – can be detected and measured simultaneously and has demonstrated a square quantum bit circuit design that is said to be the only physical architecture that could successfully scale to larger dimensions.

Li-ion thermal runaway captured by 3D imaging techniques

A team led by UCL has used 3D imaging techniques to determine what happens inside a lithium-ion battery when it overheats and then explodes. According to the researchers, it is important to understand how Li-ion batteries fail in order to improve their design to make them safer to use and transport. Recently, three airlines announced they will no longer carry bulk shipments of lithium-ion batteries after the US Federal Aviation Administration found overheating batteries could cause major fires.

AFDEC billings grow by 10%, but future still looks uncertain

The Electronic Components Supply Network (ECSN) has reported what it calls 'a welcome improvement' in total monthly billings in March 2015. Consolidated figures reported by the association's authorised distributor (AFDEC) membership show that billings increased by 10% compared to February and by 2% over March 2014.

Boron nitride increases performance of MoS2

A research team, headed by James Hone from the University of Columbia in the US, has shown that the performance of molybdenum disulphide (MoS2), a two-dimensional material, can be improved by encapsulating it in boron nitride.

Closing the gaps in carbon nanotube transistors boosts performance

While silicon based transistors have been the foundation of modern electronics, carbon nanotube wires show promise in replacing silicon because the technology can operate ten times as fast and is more flexible. However, the approach has some problems caused by gaps at the junctions between the nanotubes. Now researchers at the University of Illinois believe they may have developed a way of mitigating the problem.

Reconfigurable chip defends against memory access attacks

Researchers from MIT have designed a reconfigurable chip that is said to defend cloud based applications against memory access attacks. The concept is that, whenever a chip needs to fetch data from a particular memory address, it should also query a number of other addresses so an observer can't determine which one is of interest.

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