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Health-tracking technology in eyewear

Ophthalmic technology group and eye care retailer VSP Global has announced the development of 'Project Genesis', a wearable prototype pair of optical frames that integrates health-tracking technology.

Semiconductor sales boosted by currency effects, but growth is 'strong'

Demand for semiconductors through European distributors grew strongly in the first quarter of 2015, continuing the positive trend shown in the last half of 2014, according to DMASS – the Distributors' and Manufacturers' Association of Semiconductor Specialists. Sales of semiconductors through distribution channels in Q1 grew by 13.3% year on year to €1.82billion, the highest recorded quarterly sales since the introduction of the Euro in 2002, said DMASS.

This device will self-destruct

University of Illinois researchers have developed heat-triggered self-destructing electronic devices, a step toward reducing electronic waste and boosting sustainability in device manufacturing.

SEMTA calls on Government to create 'industrial revolution' to avert skills crisis

SEMTA, the sector skills council, has handed Sajid Javid, the newly appointed Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, an 8000 word document called Skills Vision. The document calls on the Government to help in the creation of an 'industrial revolution' in schools and colleges, quality apprenticeships and industry-focused higher education. The move is needed, it says, to avert a skills crisis.

Full duplex transceiver could cut spectrum congestion

The University of Bristol says a team from its Communication Systems and Networks research group has developed a technique that can estimate and cancel out the interference from one's own transmission. This would allow a radio to transmit and receive on the same channel at the same time and therefore use only half the spectrum needed by current technology.

Graphene and hBN combine to control light

Researchers at MIT, working with colleagues from IBM's TJ Watson Research Center, Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the University of Minnesota, have coupled the properties of different two dimensional materials in a way which is said to provide an exceptional degree of control over light waves. The team says this could lead to new kinds of light detection, thermal management systems and high resolution imaging devices.

Industrial semi sales up by 18%, says analyst

Worldwide industrial semiconductor revenues in 2014 grew to $40.4billion, 18% more than in the previous year, according to IHS. "Gradual acceleration in the global economy, led by the US and China, continued to lift industrial equipment demand," said Robbie Galoso, principal analyst, IHS Technology. "Broad based growth in industrial electronics gained momentum in the semiconductor industry, especially in products used for factory automation control, commercial avionics, LED lighting, digital internet protocol cameras, climate control, renewable energy, traction, wireless application-specific testers and oil and gas exploration equipment."

Eddy currents could help to measure high temperatures

Eddy currents could provide a new way to measure high temperatures in a range of challenging applications. According to The Technology Partnership, its inductive technique has already been used to measure temperature over ranges of several hundred degrees Celsius to an accuracy of 1°C.

Imagination launches scalable security system for SoCs

Imagination Technologies has launched OmniShield, designed to provide scalable and secure protection of next generation SoCs. The approach is described as a scalable security technology that ensures that applications which need to be secure are isolated from each other effectively and reliably as well as protected from non secure applications. Multiple secure domains are created in which each secure/non secure application/operating system can operate independently in its own separate environment.

Same day dispatch for prototype PCB service

By refining its processes, Newbury Electronics now offers same day turnaround on its PCB Train Express service for prototype PCBs. The company says it will now complete the entire process from receipt of data, tooling and testing so that the boards will be dispatched the same day and delivered by 12 noon the following day.

60GHz technology features in Chinese smartphone

SiBeam's UltraGig SiI6400 transmitter is enabling 60GHz millimetre wave wireless video technology in Letv's Le Max smartphone. Letv – China's leading internet service provider – launched its first smartphone earlier this year.

Worldwide launch for community-driven PCB design tool

An open beta program has been announced by Altium for its community-driven PCB design tool. CircuitMaker, which is a free software offering, will be available worldwide to all interested electronics designers, and aims to address the needs of the electronics maker and hobbyist community.

MEMS oscillator aimed at wearable applications

MEMS specialist SiTime is addressing opportunities in the wearables and mobile markets with a new family of µPower MEMS oscillators. The first part to be announced, the SiT8021, is said to consume 90% less power than a quartz device, as well as being 40% smaller and 70% lighter.

Fairchild looks to cut IGBT energy loss by 30%

Fairchild claims it will reduce energy loss by 30% in its fourth generation 650V and 1200V IGBTs by using a novel design approach tailored for high and medium/speed switching applications in industrial and automotive markets.

Micro-camera to revolutionise smart sensors

Researchers at Swiss based CSEM claim their Vision-in-Package (VIP) system is the smallest-ever complete vision system on a chip and the first of its kind to combine all elements of a vision system, including a camera three times smaller than the latest optic sensors, into a volume of less than 1cm³.

Manchester team prints graphene RFID antenna on paper

Researchers from the University of Manchester, together with graphene manufacturer BGT Materials, have used compressed graphene ink to print an RF antenna measuring 14cm x 3.5mm onto a piece of paper. According to the team, the antenna performed well enough to make it practical for use in RFID tags and wireless sensors.

Sodium-ion battery demonstrated

British battery developer Faradion says it has made the first demonstration of a vehicle powered by a sodium-ion battery. In the trial, which took place at Williams Advanced Engineering, an e-bike was propelled by 418Whr battery.

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