• Printer for plasmonic structures works at room temperature

    Printing nano-scale features in surfaces it difficult, according to Purdue University, particularly if the required features are smaller than the gains in the metal – the grains govern the ‘formability limit’. Sputtering metal into moulds is another route, so long at the resulting rough surface texture is not an issue. Now Purdue is claiming both ...
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  • Toshiba prototypes 96-layer 1.3Tbit NAND

    Toshiba has developed a prototype 96-layer BiCS FLASH, memory using 3D flash quad level cell (QLC) technology. The IC achieves the industry’s maximum capacity of 1.33 terabits for a single chip. This also realises an unparalleled capacity of 2.66 terabytes in a single package by utilising a 16-chip stacked architecture. The huge volumes of data generated ...
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  • Roll-to-roll printing points to fabrication of nano electronics

    A new manufacturing technique uses roll-to-roll printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for future ultrafast electronic devices.
    New technique prints metals like newspapers, making them smoother and more flexible for better current flow (Purdue University image/Ramses Martinez)The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, is said to combine existing tools for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses the speed and precision of roll-to-roll printing to remove
  • Room-temperature flow battery uses liquid sodium-potassium alloy

    Researchers at Stanford University have proposed liquid sodium-potassium alloy as an electron donor in a flow battery. Instead of storing electrons within the structure of a battery, a flow battery stores electrons in the form of chemicals in tanks, which are pumped into an electrolytic cell when charge or discharge is required. The action decouples ...
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  • Airbus BelugaXL cargo transport makes flight debut

    The BelugaXL, Airbus’ latest iteration of cargo transporter for its own aircraft parts, has completed its maiden flight.Based on an A330-200 Freighter, the BelugaXL is powered by two Rolls Royce Trent 700 engines. The aircraft’s lower fuselage was assembled on the A330 final assembly line, then moved to building L34 at Airbus’ Toulouse plant, a facility previously used for A350 and A380 static testing. It took around three months and 8,000 parts to first cut away the upper
  • AI-driven chemistry explores library of reactions to discover new molecules

    Glasgow team trains AI-driven chemistry synthesis robot to help identify compounds of interest
    The Glasgow team, led by Prof Lee Cronin, believes the technique will free chemistry researchers in the pharmaceutical and industrial chemical sectors from being confined to known databases and standard rules of organic synthesis when finding new reactions and molecules, potentially reducing the cost of discovering new molecules for drugs, materials and polymers, and for applications such as imaging.
    T
  • Kenya goes Loony

    Google’s Loon balloons are to be deployed over Kenya to provide internet access in the first commercial use of the technology. Loon will work with Telkom Kenya to deliver the service. “We will work very hard with Loon, to deliver the first commercial mobile service, as quickly as possible, using Loon’s balloon-powered Internet in Africa,” ...
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  • Huawei telecoms kit is a risk to UK networks

    Huawei telecoms equipment poses a risk to the UK telecoms network, concludes a report by the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC). “Through 2017, HCSEC has continued to find issues in Huawei products, demonstrating their continued ability to discover weaknesses in the Huawei product set,”says the report. “The NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre) has advised ...
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  • Xilinx buys China start-up

    Xilinx has bought Beijing start-up DeepPhi Technology which specialises in machine learning, deep compression, pruning, and system-level optimization for neural networks. DeePhi Tech has been developing its machine learning solutions on Xilinx technology platforms, and the two companies have worked closely together since DeePhi Tech’s inception in 2016. DeePhi Tech’s neural network pruning technology has ...
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  • Nicomatic launches miniature EMM connector

    Nicomatic, the French connector manufacturer, has launched  a rugged micro connector, the 1.27 mm pitch EMM series which targets defense and other high-reliability applications. Designed to meet the performance requirements of MIL 83513, EMM series connectors occupy 40% less space than previous-generation connectors from the company, are 20% smaller than Micro D connectors for 16-pin ...
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  • Origami device captures deep-sea creatures with delicacy

    US researchers have created an origami-inspired device for gently capturing delicate sea creatures to study and return to the ocean.
    The rotary actuated dodecahedron (RAD) sampler has five origami-inspired “petals” arranged around a central point that fold up to safely capture marine organisms, like this jellyfish (Credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University)RAD (rotary actuated dodecahedron), was developed by a team from Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically In
  • Comment: Brexiteer manufacturing ignorance spells disaster for the UK

    It’s time for SMEs to throw open their factory doors and educate MPs about the perils of Brexit before it’s too late writes Paul Murray, MD of UK SME Instrument Design Technology.
    It’s over two years since the UK voted to leave the EU. It’s taken until a few days ago for the UK government to come to an agreed UK position for negotiations with the EU.
    Simplistic arguments presented by Brexiteers show their lack of understanding
    The Brexiteers have shown throughout the camp
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  • BMW claims industry first with automotive CT scanning system

    In a claimed first for the automotive industry, BMW Group has revealed that it is using an advanced computed tomography (CT) system for prototype development, production and analysis.
    The scan itself is performed by four coordinated robotsThe company claims that the technique – which uses a team of coordinated robots to perform detailed CT scans of vehicles and components – is the only one of its kind in the automotive industry.
    Until now, vehicles have had to be dismantled for analy
  • Video(s) of the week: Autonomy at Goodwood

    The Festival of Speed is a celebration of both the classic and the cutting-edge, and this year’s Goodwood saw autonomy take on the hill climb for the first time.
    Robocar, representing the Roborace motorsport series that relies on artificial intelligence (AI) instead of human drivers, became the first autonomous vehicle to take on the Goodwood challenge. The vehicle weighs 1,350kg and is powered by four 135kW electric motors used to drive each wheel, for a combined 500-plus hp. An NVIDIA DR
  • Low phase noise 55MHz-15GHz fractional-N synth

    ADI’s ADF5610 fractional-N synthesiser covers 55MHz to 15GHz, and is claimed to have “industry’s lowest phase noise performance on a single chip” by its maker. Fabbed on a SiGe BiCMOS process, at 10GHz VCO phase noise is -114dBc/Hz at 100kHz offset and -165dBc/Hz at 100MHz offset. Normalized phase noise floor is -229dBc/Hz. Typical output power is  ...
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  • Screwless pluggable PCB mounting terminal blocks

    The CamBlock Plus range of PCB mounted terminal blocks, from CamdenBoss, is a family of terminal blocks with UL and VDE safety approvals that span 2.54mm to 10.16mm pitch. New to this are two product lines: A 2.54mm pitch rising clamp terminal block with from 2 to 12 poles Screw-less pluggable types covering 2.5, 3.5, 3.81 ...
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  • US looks for ways to help educate semiconductor industry employees

    The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has sent out a questionnaire to the semiconductor industry, its suppliers, trade bodies, equipment manufacturers, educational organisations and others. Specifically it is asking about:* The types of technical positions for which hiring is most difficult Educational levels at which hiring is most difficult Expected changes in ...
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  • Osram narrow beam IR LED for security cameras

    Osram adds to its Oslon Black portfolio for infra-red illumination with a ±25° narrow beam version
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  • Narrow beam IR LED for security cameras

    Osram has added to its Oslon Black portfolio for infra-red illumination with a ±25° beam version – called SFH 4718A – narrow enough to do away with secondary optics for cameras with a medium capture range, according to the firm. “With the addition of the SFH 4718A, the Oslon Black portfolio now comprises three wavelengths ...
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  • China memory production gets closer

    China’s memory companies are looking to start volume production next year, reports Digitimes. Yangtze River, owned by Tsinghua Unigroup, is the most advanced – running 5k wafers a month of 32-layer NAND. It is building capacity for 100k wpm for 2020 and an eventual capacity of 350-400k wpm out of three fabs. The other two ...
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  • PolarFire design suite launched

    Microsemi, now owned by Microchip, has announced a new release of the Libero SoC PolarFire Design Suite, introducing lower static power devices to the PolarFire FPGA family. Available now, the Libero SoC PolarFire Design Suite v2.2 gives designers access to “L” series PolarFire devices which deliver 30 percent lower static power over standard PolarFire FPGAs, ...
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  • Libero SoC PolarFire design suite launched

    Microsemi announces a new release of the Libero SoC PolarFire Design Suite
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  • BEHOP paves way for beam hopping in satellite systems

    Current satellite communication systems use static beams, with little or no options of adjusting beam capacity to a varying demand. Beam hopping, based on the DVB-S2X broadcasting standard, allows redirecting capacity between beams, making satellite systems more flexible and efficient. Working with WORK Microwave and Eutelsat, the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS has successfully ...
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  • TI sacks new CEO after six weeks in the job

    TI has sacked its new CEO Brian Crutcher (pictured) who was appointed on June 1st.  Crutcher’s predecessor as CEO, Rich Templeton is moving back into the CEO slot. Templeton took over as Chairman when Crutcher became CEO The reason for Crutcher’s dismissal was given as ‘code-of-conduct violations’. “The violations are related to personal behavior that ...
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  • Australia’s Monash team takes Formula Student title

    Monash Motorsport from Australia has won the 20th edition of Formula Student, the annual international racing competition for budding engineers.
    Monash University taking part in Sunday’s Endurance event (Credit: IMechE)Run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), the Silverstone event attracted 129 teams from more than 30 countries this year. Monash, hailing from Melbourne, won the overall competition, with university teams from Spain, Egypt, Germany, the US and the UK also hon
  • Glasgow flexible supercapacitor uses graphene foam

    Researchers at The University of Glasgow have created a flexible supercapacitor based on graphene foam, and have combined it with a flexible solar cell to form a power source for wearables. The capacitor uses layers of flexible, three-dimensional porous foam formed from graphene and silver. Capacitance was 38mF/cm2, according to the paper ‘Flexible self-charging supercapacitor based ...
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  • EU fines Google $5bn

    The EU has fined Google $5 billion for antitrust violations related to Android.  The EC says that Google used Android to boost its market share in search by insisting that phone manufacturers who used Android pre-installed Google Search.  “Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine,” says Competition Commissioner ...
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  • Flexible graphene foam may power wearable devices

    A Glasgow University team has developed medical sensors powered by a porous foam of graphene and silver, an advance with potential applications in the wearable device market.Last month, researchers at Rice University in Texas unveiled a method for making three-dimensional forms made of foamed graphene. The Glasgow team, working independently, used a commercially available graphene foam to make a layered structure with a silver-containing epoxy resin to form supercapacitors capable of storing thr
  • Tooling technology has industry on the right track

    Global developments in machine tools continue to meet a wide range of challenges from end users in both high-end technology and traditional markets
    Notwithstanding the vagaries of global consumption, machine tool builders (MTBs) continue to invest in new production capacity to meet demand from increasingly sophisticated users. Mazak exemplifies this, announcing the completion of the first construction phase and the start of assembly operations at its new Inabe plant – its sixth in Japan. T
  • Rolls-Royce robots promise maintenance revolution

    Rolls-Royce has presented a suite of robotic solutions, including swarm and snake robots, that it says could change the face of engine maintenance.At a press conference during the Farnborough Airshow, the engine-maker provided details of four separate projects it is working on. They involve different academic and industrial partners and are at varying stages of development, but each has the potential to significantly reduce maintenance time and improve engine availability.
    Alongside Harvard Univ
  • Engineers sign pledge to halt weaponisation of artificial intelligence

    Leading engineers and scientists have signed a pledge that precludes their participation or support of the development, manufacture, trade, or use of lethal autonomous weapons.Released in Stockholm at the 2018 International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI), the pledge – organised by the Future of Life Institute and signed by companies and individuals working in AI and robotics – challenges governments, academia and industry to follow suit and ‘create a future
  • Renesas launches DC/DC controllers for POL conversions

    Renesas has launched two PMBus compliant, fully digital DC/DC controllers that provide single output point-of-load (POL) conversions for FPGAs, DSPs, ASICs, network processors and general purpose system rails. The ISL68300 with integrated MOSFET drivers and ISL68301 with PWM output simplify designing power supplies for data center, wired and wireless communications, and factory automation equipment. The ISL68300 ...
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  • Small Robot Company raises £50k.

    The Small Robot Company, the Shropshire developer of agricultural robots, has raised £50,000 on Indiegogo. The company aims to make farms more profitable, and increase yield and efficiency, through using small robots instead of tractors. Its arable farming robots Tom, Dick and Harry enable farmers to be kinder to soil, kinder to the environment, more ...
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  • Miniature 15kV opto-coupler integrates LV LED drivers with HV photo detector diodes

    HVM Technology, the Texas specialist in miniature high voltage power converters, has released a miniature 15kV Opto-Coupler. The OPTO-150 is a miniature; 15kV rated high voltage opto-coupler which integrates low voltage LED drivers with high voltage photo detector diodes. Typical applications for the OPTO-150 include high voltage switching, high voltage isolation, external voltage sensing, voltage ...
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  • CommScope publishes FTTX eBook

    CommScope has published an FTTX eBook, “Fiber to the X Fundamentals,” encompassing all aspects of outside plant fibre deployment. The entire 49-page book is available for download now. “We get so many questions from our customers – who are either deploying an FTTX network for the first time or are curious about new technologies – ...
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  • Vayyar Imaging and Mini-Circuits offer educational kits

    Vayyar Imaging and Mini-Circuits are offering  educational project kits for engineers and students. These kits will introduce highly advanced practices with a focus on electromagnetic, RF and microwave technologies in university classrooms and programs The first kit  includes all the elements required to build vector network analyzers and algorithms for RF devices. The kit will features ...
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  • Brexit is not shaking start-ups’ belief in London

    A survey of over 100 founders of London-based start-ups found that less than one third (28%), have considered relocating following the vote, with 72% “happy to stay put regardless of this development”.  Nearly a quarter (24%) felt the government should do more to educate start-ups on how Brexit policies will affect their business. [Although this does ...
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  • Norsk and QuesTek to collaborate on titanium alloys for additive

    Norsk Titanium and QuesTek Innovations are to collaborate on the testing of novel titanium alloys for use in additive manufacturing processes.
    Production at NorskAs part of this collaboration, the companies are evaluating a QuesTek-designed titanium alloy using Norsk’s Rapid Plasma Deposition (RPD) process. Preliminary evaluation of the Illinois-based company’s alloy is complete and Norsk has manufactured initial test specimens.
    The test program will characterise the alloy microstruc
  • Training: Embedded Linux and Security training day – Reading

    Reserve a date in your diary for a Linux and Security training day in September, run by Doulos and Electronics Weekly.
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  • July 1955: The winds of change

    Orkney was home to the UK’s first grid-connected turbine
    There are currently 7,063 onshore wind turbines operating in 1,529 projects around Britain, with a combined operational capacity of 12GW. These figures come from RenewableUK, which estimates current offshore capacity at 7.1GW, a figure that will grow if new seabed rights are made available to offshore wind developers.The wind turbines that define this form of renewable energy are getting bigger, too. In March, GE Renewable Energy unl
  • July 1955: The UK’s first grid-connected wind turbine

    In 1955 The Engineer revisited Orkney to visit Costa Head, the UK’s first grid-connected turbine
    There are currently 7,063 onshore wind turbines operating in 1,529 projects around Britain, with a combined operational capacity of 12GW. These figures come from RenewableUK, which estimates current offshore capacity at 7.1GW, a figure that will grow if new seabed rights are made available to offshore wind developers.The wind turbines that define this form of renewable energy are getting bigger
  • Goonhilly Earth Station to track and control space missions after BAE Systems deal

    Goonhilly will become the first privately owned member of the Deep Space Network and will support ESA and NASA missions
    Merlin, the largest dish at Goonhilly Earth Station, will be upgraded to send and receive data from missions beyond Earth orbit.BAE Systems has formed a partnership with Goonhilly Earth Station (GES) to commercialise deep space communications. As part of the partnership, announced at the Farnborough Air Show, BAE will supply two tracking, telemetry and command processor (TTCP)
  • Tektronix scope has four 8GHz channels, with 25Gsample/s on each

    Tektronix is offering four 8GHz channels on its latest scope range, with simultaneous 25Gsample/s on each channel. “For example, a DDR3 clock and three DDR3 data channels can be viewed and analysed simultaneously, decreasing the time it takes to fully characterise a design with an instrument that shares sampling systems between channels,” said the firm. ...
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  • Peelable technology turns everyday objects into IoT devices

    Researchers have developed a new fabrication technique that uses a single wafer to build a nearly infinite number of thin film electronic circuits that are peelable from a surface.
    Peelable electronic films can be cut and pasted onto any object to achieve desired functions. (Purdue University image/Chi Hwan Lee)The technique from researchers at Purdue University and the University of Virginia is claimed to eliminate several manufacturing steps and associated costs, and allows any object to sense
  • 16 12bit DACs in the same package

    AD5767 from Analog Devices includes 16 12bit voltage output DACs in the same package, and is intended to reduce the system footprint for wired telecommunications systems, providing the necessary bias ranges for the coherent fibre-based medium and long-haul optical systems – particularly indium phosphide Mach-Zehnder modulator biasing. “The DAC delivers a broad range of unipolar or ...
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  • This week’s poll: the UK’s Scottish spaceport plan

    What do The Engineer readers think of the plans to site a vertical launch spaceport in the north of Scotland?Take Our PollThe UK space plane Skylon would require a horizontal launch siteThe plans for a launch site for rockets in Sutherland on the north coast of Scotland have already attracted lively debate in our news section, so it is an obvious choice for our poll this week.
    There have been ambitions to site a spaceport in the UK for over a decade, but business secretary Greg Clark’
  • Last week’s poll: are we seeing the last generation of manned military aircraft?

    Will future generations of military pilots control their aircraft from a cockpit inside their aircraft, from a ground-based control centre, or will fully autonomous systems fight future air battles?
    Could the RAF’s new F35 represent the last of a dying breed?Given yesterday’s announcement from Farnborough – a future fighter jet that can deploy air launched ‘swarming’ Unmanned Air Vehicles – will we see a combination of capabilities that marry human and machine
  • AMS gets more from its VOC sensor ICs

    AMS has boosted the performance of its existing CCS801 and CCS811 volatile organic compound (VOC) sensor IC with up-dated software. The chips sense a relative value for total VOC (TVOC), or equivalent CO2 (eCO2) Two things have changed: The 48hour initial burn-in period have been cut to an hour for three of the five operating modes. Air quality ...
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  • CML DMR/dPMR baseband IC integrates multiple vocoders

    CML Microcircuits of Essex has launched a  baseband processor that includes both DMR and dPMR standards. The chip embeds  multiple low rate vocoders including AMBE+2 (Digital Voice Systems) and RALCWI  (CML’s proprietary technology). In its digital mode the chip, designated SCT3258TD, can sense the presence of analogue PMR and automatically switch operating mode.  This enables ...
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  • Comment: Wireless freedom for the Pi

    When the Raspberry Pi Foundation introduced the Raspberry Pi Three, many a developer was fascinated by the integrated Wi-Fi module.
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