What was hot in 2009?

2 min read

We take a look at the most popular news stories on New Electronics Online during 2009

Which news stories did visitors to New Electronics' website find most interesting during 2009? Analysis of the traffic figures showed a broad range of topics attracted your mouse clicks, ranging from WiFi chips to connector technology being used by rock band U2. Here, in order of popularity, are the top 10. Think small CSR has launched what it describes as 'the smallest and lowest cost Wi Fi silicon in the world'. With a silicon are of less than 16mm2, CSR claims the UniFi UF6000 range is the industry's smallest 802.11n compatible device. Quantum computers '10 years off' Professor Chris Bishop, chief research scientist at Microsoft Research's Cambridge facility, believes quantum computers 'with non trivial numbers of bits' will be developed within the next 10 years. "We used to say quantum computers were 30 years off, but things are getting more interesting," he noted. Amongst the first applications for quantum computers will be in search engines; one reason for Microsoft's interest. Quantum leap in synthetic diamond development Researchers have announced major progress in the development of synthetic diamond. Element Six, along with researchers at the Universities of Paris and Stuttgart, have developed synthesis processes based on chemical vapour deposition that can produce ultrapure isotropically controlled single crystal diamond. Air fuelled battery to provide 'step change' in capacity A new type of air fuelled battery could give up to ten times the energy storage of designs currently available, say researchers at the University of St Andrews and partners at Strathclyde and Newcastle. The new design is said to have the potential to improve the performance of portable electronic products and to give a boost to the renewable energy industry. U2's surround screen features novel connectivity solution The 360° led screen being used as part of U2's latest tour features a connectivity solution developed by Harting. The screen, which measures 24 x 16m, incorporates more than 500,000 pixels and is said to be the biggest LED screen ever used in a tour. The requirement was for a rugged and vibration proof mated connector solution that could be mounted to the surface of the moving displays Under one roof National Electronics Week is described as the only UK exhibition that encompasses the entire electronics manufacturing process: from design and components through to production and distribution. The event aims to provide a showcase of the latest technologies and applications available to electronics engineers and designers. MEMS structures could be tested 100 times faster Currently, mems systems can only be inspected one at a time and this can be a time consuming and expensive. The EU's SMATIEHS programme is developing a new test concept based on parallel inspection of circuits at the wafer level. By testing 100 units at once, the time required is reduced from 20 minutes to less than 30s. Skills shortage looms One of the highlights of National Electronics Week was a panel meeting to debate the constraints on modern electronics design. The main focus of the debate was how to encourage young people to choose engineering as a career. Onzo launches ZigBee home energy monitoring kit Onzo has collaborated with Telegesis to create the Onzo Smart Energy Kit ZigBee edition. The kit comprises a ZigBee home energy display, which integrates into the consumers' or utilities' home area network, and a software suite, which enables consumers to manage their energy use online through a web portal. NXP announces Cortex-M0 based processor NXP has unveiled what it says is the first functional ARM Cortex-M0 silicon and says the Cortex-M0 processor represents a 'breakthrough in terms of size, low power and energy efficiency'. "The Cortex-M0 processor takes the complexity out of using 32bit processors," said Geoff Lees, vice president and general manager of NXP's microcontroller division.