• Imperas joins RISC-V Foundation

    Imperas Software has become a member of the RISC-V Foundation, at the same time as it made virtual platform and model support available for the RISC-V architecture. RISC-V Foundation drives the adoption of the RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA) – a RISC architecture originally developed at the University of California, Berkeley, now touted as an ...
    Read full article: Imperas joins RISC-V Foundation
  • Computing on the boundary between conventional and quantum

    A team of researchers from Australia and the UK have developed a theoretical framework to identify computations that occupy the boundary at which problems become impossible for today’s computers and can only be solved by a quantum computer – dubbed the ‘quantum frontier’. Along the way, they have shown that even simple error-prone quantum computers ...
    Read full article: Computing on the boundary between conventional and quantum
  • Photo-dielectric: discovery in need of an application

    An intrinsic photo-dielectric effect has been found in a ceramic by researchers at the University of Nagoya in Japan. Dielectric changes under light are nothing new, but in the case of LaAl0.99Zn0.01O3-δ it is not accompanied by an increase in dielectric conductivity – it remains an insulator throughout the process. “We have demonstrated the existence ...
    Read full article: Photo-dielectric: discovery in need of an application
  • Apple escalates Qualcomm battle

    Apple has escalated its battle with Qualcomm by refusing to pay royalties to its contractors which are owed to Qualcomm. Consequently, Apple’s the contractors won’t be able to pay Qualcomm which means there will be a hit to Qualcomm’s Q1 revenues. Instead of Qualcomm Q1 revenues of an estimated $5.3 billion – $6.1 billion these ...
    Read full article: Apple escalates Qualcomm battle
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  • Girls like STEM subjects as much as boys, if they have a go

    Girls start believing they aren’t good at maths, science and computers at a young age, but providing fun STEM activities at school and home may spark interest and inspire confidence – at least in the US, according to a study by the University of Washington. The finding was that, when exposed to a computer-programming activity, ...
    Read full article: Girls like STEM subjects as much as boys, if they have a go
  • ZX Spectrum rides again, with Z80 and optional Raspberry Pi Zero

    ZX Spectrum Next is a crowd-funded project to bring back the original in a form that will run the original games because it has a Z80 processor at its heart.
    Read full article: ZX Spectrum rides again, with Z80 and optional Raspberry Pi Zero
  • 3D sponge mitigates against fire-prone batteries

    Researchers in the US claim to have developed a safer alternative to fire-prone lithium-ion batteries, which were recently banned for some applications on US Navy ships.
    Debra R. Rolison (2nd from left), Jeffrey W. Long (center), and Joseph F. Parker (4th from left)Joseph Parker, Jeffrey Long, and Debra Rolison from the US Naval Research Laboratory’s (NRL) Advanced Electrochemical Materials group are leading the effort to create an entire family of safer, water-based, zinc batteries.
  • Switch flipped on UK’s newest tokamak fusion reactor

    Oxfordshire-based Tokamak Energy has fired up its latest fusion reactor for the first time and aims to reach temperatures of 100m degrees Celsius next year.The ST40 (© Tokamak Energy)
    Known as the ST40, the reactor represents the third of five stages in the company’s plan to deliver fusion energy to the grid by 2030. Controlled fusion requires temperatures in excess of 100m°C, but this has never been achieved by a privately funded company. To reach that goal, Tokamak Energy is foc
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  • Zinc sponge anode makes Li-ion alternative rechargeable

    The US Navy is has created a rechargeable aqueous zinc battery with performance approaching Li-ion cells. While useful in non-rechargeable applications – it is the basis for ‘alkaline cells’ – zinc electrodes tend to grow dendrites (whiskers) when charged, wrecking the cell. Scientists at the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) have created nickel-zinc batteries with ...
    Read full article: Zinc sponge anode makes Li-ion alternative rechargeable
  • UK team to lead research into “artificial eye” technology

    Researchers from Kingston University in southwest London are to play a leading role in the development of an advanced imaging technology that mimics the human eye.
    Funded by EPSRC, The three-year £1.3m project, which also involves King’s College London and University College London, will explore potential applications of newly developed “neuromorphic” sensors: devices which mimic the way a mammal’s eye processes information.
    Explaining the drawback of existing imagi
  • Xeros keep beady eye on Symphony washing machine retrofit project

    A British technology in which polymer beads are used to help remove soil from clothing, reducing the amount of water consumed, can now be retrofitted onto conventional washing machines.Xeros, the Leeds University spin-out that has developed the polymer cleaning technology, has announced the launch of its Symphony Project, to provide washing machine manufacturers with an “open source” access to its system.
    In a Xeros washing machine, detergent and a small amount of water are used to l
  • TI sparkles on 300mm analogue

    Revenue increased 13% from Q1 2016. Analogue revenue grew 20% and Embedded Processing revenue grew 10% from Q1 2016. “Gross margin of 63% reflected the quality of our product portfolio, as well as the efficiency of our manufacturing strategy, including the benefit of 300mm analogue production,” said TI CEO Rich Templeton, referring to “our opportunistic ...
    Read full article: TI sparkles on 300mm analogue
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  • NXP No.1 in MCU

    NXP has overtaken  Renesas To become the No.1 MCU supplier following its takeover of Freescale which saw its MCU sales grow 116% last year, reports IC Insights. The Freescale acquisition moved NXP from sixth in the 2015 MCU ranking to the top spot in 2016 with a marketshare of 19% ($2.9 billion). About three-quarters of ...
    Read full article: NXP No.1 in MCU
  • ADI ADC meets 5G spectral efficiency demands

    ADI has launched an ADC to meet the spectral efficiency demands of 4G/5G  base-stations. It also meets the reduced run-time targets of multi-standard production instrumentation and provides a detection range and sensitivity suitable for defense electronics. Made on a  28nm CMOS process, the AD9208 delivers  bandwidth and dynamic range to cover the largest number of ...
    Read full article: ADI ADC meets 5G spectral efficiency demands
  • Sanjay Mehrotra takes over at Micron

    Sanjay Mehrotra, co-founder and CEO of SanDisk, has been appointed CEO of Micron. “Innovation in memory and storage technology is enabling new products, improved customer experience and growth across multiple markets,” says Mehrotra, “Micron is at the forefront of driving these innovations, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead such a talented ...
    Read full article: Sanjay Mehrotra takes over at Micron
  • Intel makes Q1 profit of $3bn

    Intel had revenue of $14.8 billion in Q1 for a net profit of $3 billion. PC revenues were $8 billion. Data centre revenues were $4.2 billion. Flash revenues were $866 million The IoT group had revenues of $721 million. The Security Group had revenue of $534 million The FPGA group had revenue of $425 million. ...
    Read full article: Intel makes Q1 profit of $3bn
  • PA Consulting Group celebrates annual Raspberry Pi school coding competition

    Some of the brightest innovators from UK schools gathered at PA Consulting Group’s annual Raspberry Pi coding competition final in London.
    Read full article: PA Consulting Group celebrates annual Raspberry Pi school coding competition
  • Shoring up the post-Brexit engineering skills base

    Skilled EU workers, academics and students will be key to driving the post-Brexit engineering economy and government must act quickly to guarantee their status says David Wright, chair of Coventry University’s National Transport Design Centre.
    Like most of us, I didn’t expect Theresa May to announce a snap election in June. Similarly, I was one of the many who didn’t expect the Brexit vote to go the way it did. To misquote Monty Python, “No-one expected this Brexit situat
  • Thermoelectric generators and interface PCBs

    Thermoelectric energy harvesters are available from Leicestershire-based European Thermodynamics. “The Adaptive range has been developed with design and development engineers in mind,” said company engineer Tibor Toro. “The initial products in the range are an excellent addition to energy harvesting research and development, evaluating standalone or even small grid connected strategies. We are looking forward ...
    Read full article: Thermoelectric generators and interface PCBs
  • AVL International Simulation Conference 2017

    AVL International Simulation Conference 2017, MesseCongress, Graz, Austria, 27–29 June 2017The conference covers the analysis and optimisation of structural and thermo-fluid dynamics as well as vehicle system simulation. Benefits and challenges of a synergetic use of simulation and testing throughout the development process from design to testing to calibration based on AVL’s Integrated and Open Development Platform as enabler of Model Based Development will be addres
  • Huawei develops ARM-Android open source platform for Linaro

    A development platform for the Android open source project (AOSP) has been created by Huawei. The ARM-based hardware is part of the Linaro open source collaborative engineering organization developing software for the ARM ecosystem. The HiKey 960 96Boards development platform from Huawei is now listed on the 96Boards website and will become available through global distribution ...
    Read full article: Huawei develops ARM-Android open source platform for Linaro
  • Museum uses laser scanner to measure dinosaur skeleton

    ScanArm HD system being used on the diplodocus skeletonSome of the UK’s best-known museum pieces are getting a new look and reaching wider audiences thanks to German-based metrology specialist Faro. In what is becoming an expanding niche sector for the business, the Natural History Museum has used the portable Faro Focus laser scanner system, used commercially for surveying applications, to make accurate measurements of its famous Diplodocus skeleton that has occupied its main entrance hal
  • 3D printing a Tour De France winner

    With 25 years’ working with carbon fibre moulding, founder and CEO of Metron Advanced Equipment, Dimitris Katsanis discusses the advantages of additive manufacturing in the world of competitive cycling.
    As a composites and design engineering expert, I have always been a dyed-in-the-wool Carbon Fibre advocate. I’ve been designing and building competitive bicycles for some of the speediest athletes on Earth since the 90s and, until recently, have always relied on carbon fibre for its v
  • Home comforts: MIT team develops system to 3D print buildings

    MIT researchers have designed a mobile system that can 3D print the basic structure of an entire building.Structures built with this system could be produced faster and less expensively than traditional construction methods allow, the researchers said.
    The robotic system is described in Science Robotics, in a paper by Steven Keating PhD ’16, a mechanical engineering graduate and former research affiliate in the Mediated Matter group at the MIT Media Lab; Julian Leland and Levi Cai, both re
  • Pharma industry urges healthcare investment

    The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has called on the next government to invest more in healthcare and deliver a ‘world class’ NHS for patients.Launching its 2017 election manifesto, the trade association urged the incoming government to bring healthcare investment into line with the G7 average of 11.3 per cent of GDP. The UK currently has the sixth lowest proportional spend of the G7 nations at just 9.9 per cent, with only Italy investing less.
    The ABPI, wh
  • Video of the week: Dutch engineers unveil 3D printed ship propeller

    Engineers at Europe’s largest port are exploring the use of additive manufacturing processes to carry out repairs to damaged ships.
    A 3D printed propeller produced at Rotterdam’s RAMLABThe Netherlands’ Port of Rotterdam is one of the most important intersections for the flow of cargo in the world.
    Currently, if a vessel comes in to port needing a replacement part—a propeller, for example— it can take weeks or months to order and deliver, costing companies millions o
  • Dutch engineers unveil 3D printed ship propeller

    Engineers at Europe’s largest port are exploring the use of additive manufacturing processes to carry out repairs to damaged ships.
    A 3D printed propeller produced at Rotterdam’s RAMLABThe Netherlands’ Port of Rotterdam is one of the most important intersections for the flow of cargo in the world.
    Currently, if a vessel comes in to port needing a replacement part—a propeller, for example— it can take weeks or months to order and deliver, costing companies millions o
  • Farnell signs Dialog

    Premier Farnell has signed a global franchise agreement with Dialog. ‘This new agreement expands our product range, and coupled with Dialog’s advanced system-level knowhow, deep portfolio of intellectual property and mixed signal innovation, further enables us to provide a full service solution for customers, supporting our customers from design to initial production as they take their ...
    Read full article: Farnell signs Dialog
  • US net neutrality threatened by FCC

    The Trump appointee to the US FCC chairmanship, Ajit Pai, said yesterday he wants to abandon net neutrality – the rule that everyone must get equal service from broadband providers. Net neutrality stops broadband providers charging extra for fast service. Pai said yesterday that he believed the rules depressed investment by internet providers and cost ...
    Read full article: US net neutrality threatened by FCC
  • INCJ to sell 20% stake in Renesas

    The Innovation Network Company of Japan (INCJ), a government bail-out fund for troubled companies, is to sell a 20% stake in Renesas. INCJ currently holds 69% of Renesas after bailing out the company in 2013. At that time the company had cumulative losses of some $6 billion over the previous seven years. INCJ bought its ...
    Read full article: INCJ to sell 20% stake in Renesas
  • ST re-apponts Bozotti as CEO

    ST has re-appointed Carlo Bozotti as CEO and has appointed Jean-Marc Chery as deputy CEO. ST has been looking for a replacement for Bozotti for some time, but this process does not appear to have been successful.   ST says that Bozotti will serve for one more year before retiring as CEO. ST had Q1 ...
    Read full article: ST re-apponts Bozotti as CEO
  • The search is on for the UK’s most inspiring examples of STEM engagement with schools.

    As part of its annual Collaborate To Innovate awards initiative The Engineer magazine is on the look out for the UK’s most inspiring and effective examples of engineering engagement with schools.
    The Engineer’s special Young Innovator prize, which is sponsored by leading UK engineering firm Renishaw Plc and supported by Engineering UK will go to an organisation that is able to demonstrate excellence in educational outreach.
    Entries are invited from industry partners, STEM o
  • Wiping the slate clean: careers in nuclear waste management

    The UK faces major challenges in dealing with nuclear waste, which means an abundance of opportunity in the industry
    Last month, a £6.1bn deal to clean up the UK’s redundant fleet of Magnox nuclear reactors was pulled after the government mishandled how the work was awarded. Dr Paul Dorfman, University College London’s nuclear power expert, believed it was “inevitable” the deal would fail. He claimed the challenges of decommissioning nuclear plant and dealing with t
  • Uber plans on-demand flying taxi service by end of decade

    Aurora Flight Sciences is to partner with Uber in the development of the world’s first network of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft.
    First flight of Aurora’s eVTOL aircraft on April 20, 2017The formal announcement of initiative partners (including Bell Helicopter and Embraer) took place on April 25, 2017 at Uber’s Elevate Summit in Dallas, Texas.
    By utilising repurposed rooftops, existing helipads and unused land surrounding highway interchanges the proposed Uber El
  • Revolutionary UK compressor inventor nominated for top European award

    An innovative air compressor, claimed to be at least 20 per cent more efficient than existing devices, has earned its British inventor Steve Lindsey a finalist slot at the prestigious 2017 European Inventor Awards.
    UK inventor Steve Lindsey with the Blade compressorLindsey has been nominated for the prize, which is awarded annually by the European Patent Office (EPO), for the development of the Blade Compressor; an oil-free rotary air compressor that is claimed to represent a significant advance
  • Brexit will only make tech skills shortage worse

    With an ageing population and the threat that Brexit poses to freedom of movement laws, recruiters in the electronics industry will need new talent management strategies, writes Ben Hall Despite the electronics industry being home to some of the most cutting edge employers – all offering myriad opportunities for professionals – the fact remains that ...
    Read full article: Brexit will only make tech skills shortage worse
  • RISC-V Foundation replies on Princeton bugs

    Princeton University found problems with the memory consistency model (MCM) in more complex implementations of the open source RISC-V. The University works with the RISC-V Foundation, so there was no conflict, and the Foundation is already on the case. However, the Foundation desires to set the record straight in detail, and its chairman Krste Asanović has written the following (reproduced in ...
    Read full article: RISC-V Foundation replies on Princeton bugs
  • Software algorithms secure embedded designs

    Segger has introduced a library of cryptographic algorithms written entirely in C. Called emCrypt, it includes block ciphers, hashes, MACs, and digital signatures required to meet the demanding cryptographic needs of embedded devices. Having been designed from the ground up for use in memory-constrained embedded systems, emCrypt uses minimal resources in respect of memory footprint ...
    Read full article: Software algorithms secure embedded designs
  • Project seeks three-stage outcome for orphan nuclear wastes

    The same concept behind efforts to prevent greenhouse gases being emitted from fossil fuel power plants could be used to trap radioactive waste for geological disposal.
    In an EPSRC-funded project, researchers at Strathclyde University are developing a new approach to treating so-called “orphan” nuclear wastes.
    Orphan wastes are radioactive wastes that cannot be dealt with in existing processing plants, and for which there is no accepted treatment option.
    The researchers, led by Dr Jo
  • IFR report links automation with job creation

    A new report from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) suggests that increased automation in the US is leading to job growth rather than job cuts.
    Between 2010 and 2016, the operational stock of industrial robots in the automotive sector increased by about 52,000. According to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, the number of jobs in the sector rose by 260,600 over the same period. Speaking at the World Robotics IFR CEO Roundtable in Chicago, IFR president Joe Gemma claimed that a
  • Bristol engineers excel in RAEng initiatives

    Engineering students from Bristol University have achieved success in two Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) schemes designed to promote innovation and leadership.
    [left to right] students Patrick Gregory, Lottie Macnair and Matthew Mears with Dr Theo TryfonasOn April 5, 2017 Lottie Macnair, Patrick Gregory, Matthew Mears, Robbie Herring and Oscar Radevsky – all final year students on the Engineering Design Programme – were one of five winning teams in the Engineering a Better Worl
  • TSMC looks at e-beam as possible alternative to EUV

    TSMC is looking at an e-beam lithography tool made by the Dutch firm Mapper as a possible alternative to EUV. The Mapper tool uses 110 e-beams and could, according to TSMC’s Burn Lin, process 150 wafers an hour which is the same rate as ASML’s latest EUV machine. According to Lin, who is vp for ...
    Read full article: TSMC looks at e-beam as possible alternative to EUV
  • Samsung to offer foundry customers 28nm FD-SOI embedded MRAM.

    In May Samsung is expected to announce that foundry customers can have embeded MRAM in their SoCs. Samsung’s MRAM is said to be 1000 times faster than NAND with unlimited endurace and will be offered with Samsung’s 28nm FD-SOI process. Samsung says that embedding MRAM only takes four mask-steps compared to 20 masks for embedded ...
    Read full article: Samsung to offer foundry customers 28nm FD-SOI embedded MRAM.
  • 3D NAND will become the dominant flash memory in Q3

    Q3 will see 3D NAND take over 50% of the NAND market for the first time, says DRAMeXchange. In terms of bits shipped, 3D NAND already represents over half Samsung’s output and represented over half Micron’s shipments as early as February. Samsung is in volume production of 48-layer NAND and expects to start producing 64-layer ...
    Read full article: 3D NAND will become the dominant flash memory in Q3
  • Space garden to grow food crops aboard ISS

    An automated “space garden”, that’s expected to advance the understanding of how to grow crops in space, has been installed aboard the International Space Station.Jointly developed by engineers from NASA and Sierra Nevada Corporation, the so-called Advanced Plant Habitat (APH) will be used to grow plants in microgravity, test new technologies and conduct controlled science experiments, which are expected to be key in making agriculture and fresh food more prominent in extended
  • Quiet 8A automotive dc-dc works from up to 65V

    Analog Devices has announced a 65V input, 8A output, current-mode synchronous step-down switching regulator. It is called LT8645S, where the S indicates that it has the second generation of the firm’s ‘silent switcher’ noise reduction technology – which includes in-package ceramic capacitors on the input, bootstrap and internal supply rails (see diagram). “These caps keep all ...
    Read full article: Quiet 8A automotive dc-dc works from up to 65V
  • Single pixel perception sharpens focus in frames

    A video camera that mimics the way the brains of humans and animals focus their visual attention on the most important object in a scene has been developed in Scotland.The sensor, developed by researchers at Glasgow University, uses just one light-sensitive pixel to build up moving images of objects placed in front of it.
    The device, unveiled in Science Advances, operates by prioritising important objects within the scene, while devoting less processing power to peripheral regions.
  • Spring 2017: Machine-tool round-up

    A selection of some the latest developments in the arena of machine tools
    The UK’s largest machine-tool builder, Yamazaki Mazak, has signalled a renewed commitment to its UK manufacturing presence with major investment at its European manufacturing plant in Worcester. The plant opened in 1987 and produces more than 1,000 machine tools annually; as part of a programme to increase manufacturing capacity, Mazak has invested in two large machining centres from its Japanese factories. The Versa
  • New technique analyses battery failure

    A team led by researchers from UCL has developed a new method for investigating the forces at work when lithium-ion batteries short-circuit.(Credit: Kristoferb via CC)
    The study, published in Energy and Environmental Science, used a device patented by engineers from NASA and the US NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) to initiate short circuits in batteries, mimicking the failures sometimes seen in consumer electronics and EVs. Using high-speed X-ray imaging, the researchers then mon
  • Siemens to work with Adidas on flexible manufacturing project

    Automation giant Siemens has joined forces with Adidas on the development of a smart factory concept that the sportswear manufacturer has put at the heart of its plans for the future.
    Adidas plans to transform the production of sports shoes (Credit: Adidas)Through its so-called Speedfactory concept Adidas plans to use automation technology and flexible manufacturing technologies like robotics and 3D printing to enable localised and bespoke manufacturing of sports shoes: simplifying the supply ch

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