• EW BrightSparks celebrates the future of electronics engineering

    Electronics Weekly is teaming up with RS Components to launch a new programme, EW BrightSparks, highlighting the brightest and most talented young electronic engineers in the UK today.
    Read full article: EW BrightSparks celebrates the future of electronics engineering
  • Interview: RS Components CEO bullish on future of UK electronics

    Lindsley Ruth, the CEO of RS Components, says individuals can still make a difference in electronics and sees opportunities ahead in the future.
    Read full article: Interview: RS Components CEO bullish on future of UK electronics
  • Government approves third runway for Heathrow Airport

    Government ministers today approved a new runway at Heathrow Airport, a decision expected to create up to 77,000 jobs in the region by 2030.
    The Department for Transport predicts 5,000 new apprenticeships over the same period and economic benefits worth up £61bn.
    Transport secretary Chris Grayling said: “After years of discussion and delay this government is taking decisive action to secure the UK’s place in the global aviation market.
    “A new runway at Heathrow will impro
  • This week’s poll: What’s the best way to encourage adoption of zero-emission vehicles?

    The expected future growth in aviation – illustrated by today’s announcement of a planned third runway at Heathrow – means the UK will need to dramatically cut emissions in other areas in order to meet its climate targets.
    This week the Department for Transport (DfT) unveiled its strategy to encourage the adoption of low-emissions vehicles, which includes increased access to charging points and hydrogen refuelling stations. The number of new ultra low emission vehicles register
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  • Last week’s poll: should Gatwick or Heathrow be allowed to expand?

    Government ministers today announced their support for a new runway at Heathrow  Airport, a decision that is somewhat at odds with the results of our latest poll.
    Last week we asked if Gatwick or Heathrow should be allowed to expand, with just under a fifth (19 per cent) opting for Heathrow. Gatwick fared a little better with 21 per cent of the 723 votes cast.
    Just under half of the vote (46 per cent) was split equally between those who favoured expansion at both airports, and those who wa
  • US engineers develop propulsion system for small satellites

    Cubesats – tiny satellites that offer scientists relatively low cost access to space – are increasingly widely used for a host of applications.
    Now, thanks to a new rocket motor concept developed by a team from Los Alamos Laboratory in the US they could be about to become even more useful.
    Artists concept of a CubeSat on-board propulsion system. (Photo credit: Inside Out Visuals)The primary roadblock to CubeSat propulsion has always been safety.  Typical spacecraft propulsion sy
  • Harvard engineers 3D print heart-on-a-chip

    Researchers at Harvard’s John A Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have created what they claim is the first 3D-printed organ-on-a-chip with integrated sensing. 
    Credit: Johan Lind, Disease Biophysics Group/Lori K. Sanders (Lewis Lab)/Harvard UniversityOrgans-on-chips mimic the function and structure of real organs. The technology is emerging as an innovative way to study biological processes and drug screening, as well as an alternative to animal testing. Curre
  • EnSilica opens Oxford RF design centre

    EnSilica, the semiconductor IP sepecialist, has further expanded its network of specialist design centres with the establishment of a new facility near Oxford focusing on RF and low power sensing applications. The new RF and low power sensing design centre will be headed up by Alan Wong (pictured third from left front row) who joined ...
    Read full article: EnSilica opens Oxford RF design centre
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  • University of Texas wins RoboCup 2016 final in Beijing

    The University of Texas at Austin won the Beijing RoboCup 2016 competition beating the University of New South Wales Runswift by an comprehensive 7-3 in the the final. “We lost to a really good team,” said Jeremy Collette of the New South Wales team, “the American team was really good, they deserve to be the ...
    Read full article: University of Texas wins RoboCup 2016 final in Beijing
  • ST said to appoint London headhunter to find a CEO

    ST has appointed a head-hunter to find it a new CEO, reports Bloomberg. The contract of CEO Carlo Bozotti expires in May when he will be 64. The headhunter is said to be the London company SpencerStuart. They will have to deal with the problem that the French and Italian governments each own 14% of ...
    Read full article: ST said to appoint London headhunter to find a CEO
  • TI introduces convenient Bluetooth modules

    Texas Instruments has expanded its wireless connectivity module range with a Bluetooth low energy module with built-in antenna. Part of the firm’s SimpleLink range, the module is pre-certified for FCC, IC, CE and TELEC regulations. “TI also offers certified software stacks for the Bluetooth specification,” said the firm. “Additionally, developers have the flexibility to use the module as a ...
    Read full article: TI introduces convenient Bluetooth modul
  • EBV creates new products business

    EBV Electronic has combined its own branded semiconductor business with its main distribution and support activities in a new business unit called Product Innovations. The distributor said that it is combining sales and support activities, but the established brand names of EBVchips and EBVsolutions will remain unchanged. The German distributor set up the EBVchips business to develop and sell ...
    Read full article: EBV creates new products business
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  • Wax and microwaves could unlock storage roadblock to hydrogen economy

    Riversimple’s Rasa car incorporates a hydrogen fuel cellThe biggest obstacle to developing hydrogen powered vehicles – whether the hydrogen is burned as a conventional fuel or used in a fuel cell to generate electricity – is the lack of a method for storing hydrogen.
    The hazardous nature of the gas, with its light weight, tendency to escape, and flammability means that pressurised containers are impractical, and despite much research lightweight and safe materials that can abso
  • EEF launches leadership programme for future manufacturers

    Manufacturers’ organisation EEF has announced a new programme called “Make Great”, which it hopes will help develop the next generation of leaders for industry.The programme will focus on management and skills development, with a view to helping businesses recruit, retain and train personnel for the challenges of Industry 4.0. According to research carried out by EEF, the need to improve productivity has led to almost two thirds of manufacturers increasing demand for people man
  • ARM TechCon: FPGA module has 16Gbit/s I/O

    Prototype design can now take advantage of Xilinx Virtex UltraScale technology with the latest FPGA modules from Pro Design. The proFPGA product series, which will be demonstrated at ARM TechCon in California this week (26-27 October), are intended to be used for ASIC and IP prototyping, real time system integration and pre-silicon software development. The five new ...
    Read full article: ARM TechCon: FPGA module has 16Gbit/s I/O
  • STEM champions speak up for hands-on education

    Jason FordNews editorA panel discussion at IP EXPO Europe 2016 saw fresh perspectives angled at the on going debate surrounding STEM –related skills shortages.
    The skills gap in STEM-related subjects is well documented, as are the negative, knock on effects to the economy.
    The perceived causes are discussed regularly and potential solutions are implemented; yet the issues around STEM and STEM careers recur time and again.
    Taking a position on the subject at IP EXPO were TV personalities a
  • ARM TechCon: mbed platform speeds IoT node design

    ARM TechCon which takes place in California this week (26-27 October) will major on design platforms for IoT networks and gateways. Key to this is the ARM open environment called mbed OS 5 which incorporates a real-time operating system (RTOS) in the core of the operating system. For example, IoT gateways modules from u-blox now make ...
    Read full article: ARM TechCon: mbed platform speeds IoT node design
  • Dyn cyber-attack came from incurable IoT devices

    Last weeks huge internet attack on internet firm Dyn, said to have affected Twitter, Spotify and PayPal amongst other big names, was at least in part launched from IoT security cameras that continue to be a threat, according to security specialist Brian Krebs. The attack was ‘distributed denial of service’ (DDoS), where many – thousands or ...
    Read full article: Dyn cyber-attack came from incurable IoT devices
  • Closing the loop: EnCO2re aims to recycle carbon from waste into resource

    A programme to develop methods of using CO2 as a feedstock for plastics manufacturing is now seeking industrial partners in Europe.
    Covestro’s polymer plants could run on CO2A Europe-wide project to investigate methods to convert carbon dioxide into plastics was launched last week at the polymer industry’s major trade show, the K Fair in Düsseldorf.
    The project, called EnCO2re, currently involves a dozen research partners, including Imperial College London and Oxford University,
  • Liquid-repellant tape has range of applications

    Engineers at Colorado State University (CSU) have developed a “superomniphobic” tape that repels liquid from any surface, and which has a wide potential range of uses.(Credit: CSU)Superomniphobic materials work by providing a cushion of air between a solid surface and liquids. Researchers have been studying the area for around a decade, but until now superomniphobic properties have only been achieved via expensive coatings and sprays. This latest work, published by the American Chemi
  • IT spend to top $3.5trn

    Driven by growth in software and IT services revenues, worldwide IT spending is forecast to reach $3.5 trillion in 2017, up 2.9% from 2016’s $3.4 trillion, says Gartner. Software spending is projected to grow 6% in 2016, and another 7.2% in 2017 to total $357 billion. IT services spending is expected to grow 3.9% in ...
    Read full article: IT spend to top $3.5trn
  • GloFo jv China fab deal on hold

    GloFo’s plan to get control of a cut-price fab in China has run into trouble, reports Digitimes. GloFo had an agreement with the regional government of Chongqing province to equip an old fab with 40nm 12-inch equipment whereupon it would obtain 51% of the jv with the Chongqing government owning the fab. According to Digitimes’ ...
    Read full article: GloFo jv China fab deal on hold
  • Better touch screens, from Nottingham

    Binstead Designs of Nottingham has developed a way to increase touch-screen resolution without increasing the number of electrical connections. A 4×7 array of touch points delivered by eight connections using Binstead’s patented scanning technique.  It is said to work with both resistive and projected capacitance screens, and only requires connection along one edge of the display. ...
    Read full article: Better touch screens, from Nottingham
  • Trident submarines to carry one of Royal Navy’s most famous names

    Britain’s new nuclear deterrent submarine will be called HMS Dreadnought, a name with a long history
    An rendering of HmS Dreadnought, previously known as Successor. Image: BAE
    SystemsThe first of the new submarines that will carry Trident missiles when the UK’s nuclear deterrent is renewed is to carry on the Royal Navy’s most famous names. The submarine, which we will be built at BAE Systems’ manufacturing site at Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, is to be called HMS Dreadnough
  • Additive sabotage study raises 3D printing security concerns

    A team of international researchers have highlighted potential security concerns around 3D printing technology by hacking into an additive manufacturing system and deliberately sabotaging the quality of a 3D printed part.
    Additive manufacturing (AM) is increasingly widely used to produce functional components for a range of sectors. Indeed, according to one of the biggest studies on the sector – the Wohlers report – 32.5 percent of all AM-generated objects are used as functional part
  • 2D materials tuned to dissipate heat in electronic devices

    Researchers have found a way of controlling the thermal conductivity of 2D materials, a development that will allow designers to dissipate heat in electronic devices made from these materials.
    Introducing lithium ions between layers of molybdenum sulfide can tune the thermal conductivity of the materialTwo-dimensional materials have a layered structure, with each layer having strong bonds in plane, and weak bonds out of plane. These materials have unique electronic and chemical properties, and h
  • BASF restarts production at Ludwigshafen after fatal explosion

    The German chemicals-making giant is returning to normal operations after the worst chemicals incident in the country for 20 years
    A view across BASF’s Ludwigshafen complexThe German chemicals manufacturing giant BASF is restarting the steamcrackers at its Ludwigshafen headquarters following an explosion and fire on the pipelines which supply the plants. The cause of the explosion, which is so far known to have killed three people and injured 25 others, is not yet known; however, it occurr
  • Tech start-ups pick up awards from Deloitte

    Three new tech businesses from the UK were named winners of the 7th annual Cambridge Wireless Discovering Start-Ups competition in London this week in an event hosted by Deloitte. The winners –  8power with its smart, self-powered wireless sensors, risk analytics company AlgoDynamix and satellite positioning specialist Focal Point Positioning – were chosen from 10 finalists who presented ...
    Read full article: Tech start-ups pick up awards from Deloitte
  • Hydrogen-powered Toyota wins Monte Carlo e-rally

    A Toyota Mirai powered by a hydrogen fuel cell has claimed first place at the inaugural Monte Carlo e-rally, an FIA event open only to zero-emissions vehicles.(Credit: Toyota)Driven by Artur Prusak and Thierry Benchetrit, the Toyota successfully completed the 1,000km course ahead of 34 other crews from nine different countries, most of whom were competing in electric vehicles. The Mirai was supported by a mobile hydrogen refuelling station over the five-day event, provided by French industrial g
  • Heart-rate sensor on a chip from Osram

    An optoelectronic sensor IC from Osram Semiconductors can be used to monitor heart rate and blood oxygen levels. The BioMon optoelectronic sensor is available from distributor Intelligent LED Solutions in three variants, each of which is available mounted on a reference design board that will enable early stage development and prototyping. The heart rate and ...
    Read full article: Heart-rate sensor on a chip from Osram
  • ARM Cortex MCUs get fast trace probes

    Segger wants to make it easier to get true instruction trace up and running with its new Cortex-M Trace reference board. The firm believes that the main reason that developers do not use trace probes is the complexity of the tools. By referring to a tutorial on the firm’s website, engineers can experience streaming trace, ...
    Read full article: ARM Cortex MCUs get fast trace probes
  • ARM Cortex-M MCUs get fast trace probes

    Segger wants to make it easier to get true instruction trace up and running with its new Cortex-M Trace reference board.
    Read full article: ARM Cortex-M MCUs get fast trace probes
  • Optical probes work for high speed measurement, says Tektronix

    Dean Miles  describes how an optically isolated probe can overcome common mode interference measurement challenges. Advancements in power conversion components have far outpaced the ability to accurately measure and characterise these designs. Engineers working on power device designs involving GaN and SiC technologies and other high-speed applications currently have no way to accurately measure differential ...
    Read full article: Optical probes work for high speed measurement, says Tektron
  • Toshiba adds to auto MOSFETs

    Toshiba has expanded its family of automotive power MOSFETs with the TK1R5R04PB – the first device in its new low-resistance D2PAK+ package. While the D2PAK+ has the same footprint as a conventional D2PAK (or TO-263) package, it offers reduced package resistance. This is thanks to a source pin that is much wider near to the ...
    Read full article: Toshiba adds to auto MOSFETs
  • Semi market to shrink this year, reports Gartner

    Worldwide semiconductor revenues are forecast to total $332 billion in 2016, a decrease of 0.9% from 2015, according to Gartner. This represents two consecutive years of revenue decline, which has happened only once in history. But the outlook for the semiconductor market is improving. “The worst appears to be over, with a stronger outlook for ...
    Read full article: Semi market to shrink this year, reports Gartner
  • Semi market to grow this year, reports IC Insights

    IC Insights has raised its IC market forecast for 2016 by three percentage points from a 2% decline to a 1% increase and its 2016 IC unit volume shipment growth rate forecast from 4% to 6%. A large portion of this revision is due to a strengthening DRAM market. Although the average third quarter sequential ...
    Read full article: Semi market to grow this year, reports IC Insights
  • Analogue dc-dc battery charger includes MPU

    Taking the microcontroller to an extreme, Microchip has created an 8bit MCU that is more analogue power supply than processor. Called MCP19124 and MCP19125, “this unique product family combines the performance of a high-speed analogue solution, including high-efficiency and fast transient response, with the configurability and communication interface of a digital solution”, said Microchip. And ...
    Read full article: Analogue dc-dc battery charger includes MPU
  • America II goes in to design and manufacturing services

    America II, the US component distributor, is moving into the services business. As well as its main component distribution business it will offer product design, manufacturing and failure analysis services. It is also moving into the market for PCB design and manufacture. Within the last two years America II has been growing its market presence in mainland Europe and other ...
    Read full article: America II goes in to design and manufacturing services
  • Raspberry Pi founder tells of “toy” that grew and grew

    Four years ago Raspberry Pi was launched as a “toy computer” to help teach children about programming, but the Raspberry Pi phenomenon was not destined to remain only in the classroom. Eben Upton, founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation and now CEO of Raspberry Pi (Trading) gives Electronics Weekly an exclusive view on what happened ...
    Read full article: Raspberry Pi founder tells of “toy” that grew and grew
  • MP calls on government to make most of AI

    The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has responded to a new report on robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) from the House of Commons Science and Technology (S&T) Committee by saying that it is important to prepare for the new jobs that AI will create, rather than dealing with the fallout of the jobs that ...
    Read full article: MP calls on government to make most of AI
  • New window into problems with lithium batteries

    Engineers in Michigan have found a new way of observing a phenomenon that can be problematic to next-generation lithium batteries.The researchers at the University of Michigan have fashioned an aperture in a battery to observe the growth of dendrites, which are whiskers of lithium that grow inside batteries and can cause fires.
    Lithium sulphur and lithium air batteries — which are sometimes referred to as lithium metal batteries due to their all-metal electrodes — have the poten
  • All Tesla cars to have autonomous capability

    The soon-to-be-launched Model 3 will be Tesla’s cheapest vehicle (Credit: Tesla)Tesla is to install hardware for full autonomous operation in all its cars, but it will only be activated when the company has proved it is safe
    Electric car manufacturer Tesla has announced that all of its future vehicles will be equipped with self-driving technology. The company claims that autonomous capability will make Teslas safer than human-driven cars, will reduce the cost of transportation and will &ld
  • Join us in November for a celebration of engineering collaboration

    Running on November 17th at the Advanced Manufacturing Training centre in Coventry, Collaborate to Innovate will shine the light on disruptive technology and the power of engineering collaboration
    The line-up is complete for next month’s Collaborate to Innovate conference: an event that promises to shed light on the disruptive technologies that will shape industry in the years ahead, and educate delegates about the challenges and rewards of effective engineering collaboration.
    Airbus R&
  • Electronics giant backs UK weight-powered off-grid lighting

    Siemens is putting money into the work of UK charity GravityLight Foundation, which has designed a weight-powered lighting system for places with no grid connection. In particular, Siemens Stiftung – the foundation arm of Siemens that promotes sustainable social development – will help roll out the UK-designed system to to over 15,000 people without electricity ...
    Read full article: Electronics giant backs UK weight-powered off-grid lighting
  • air-to-air drone recharging

    Imperial College is proposing air-to-air refuelling amongst electric drones using resonant inductive charging. In a proof-of-concept, a small drone carrying a receiving coil, with its battery removed, was hovered 10cm above a static transmit coil etched into PCB using transferred power. “There are a number of scenarios where wirelessly transferring power could improve drone technology. ...
    Read full article: air-to-air drone recharging
  • Mixed success for ExoMars as Schiaparelli lander feared lost

    The Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) component of the ExoMars 2016 mission has successfully entered its orbit around the Red Planet, but contact has been lost with the Schiaparelli lander.
    (Credit: ESA–David Ducros)Scientists at the European Space Agency (ESA) are still hopeful of establishing contact with Schiaparelli, which was due to test landing technology ahead of the rover component of the mission scheduled for 2020. Data from the descent has been transmitted back to Earth via the TGO, w
  • UK engineers demonstrate wireless charging for drones

    Despite the rapid rise of drone technology, its application is frequently limited by re-charging requirements. Thanks to wireless recharging technology developed by engineers at Imperial College London this could all be about to change.
    Inductive charging could enable drones to stay in the air for longerThe team, from the university’s Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, has demonstrated a highly efficient method for wirelessly transferring power to a drone while it is flyi
  • What next for car and EV batteries?

    Lithium-ion batteries will dominate the automotive scene over the coming ten, and possibly 15, years, but some odd-ball technologies could push their way through, according to market research firm IDTechEx. “During that time we shall see peak Pb-acid battery, the biggest nail in its coffin being when electric vehicles more widely abandon them and even ...
    Read full article: What next for car and EV batteries?
  • China plans 3D NAND production next year

    Yangtze River Storage Technology (YRST) the Tsinghua Unigroup Chinese memory company, will start producing 3D NAND at the end of next year, reports Digitimes. 3D NAND industry leaders Toshiba, Samsung and Intel/ Micron are in production of 48-layer NAND. XMC, which was taken over by YRST earlier this year, developed the flash technology with Spansion ...
    Read full article: China plans 3D NAND production next year
  • Return to sequential growth at Taiwan foundries

    Q3 revenues at Taiwan’s Big Three foundries were up 14.3% q-o-q and 18.5% y-o-y, reports Digitimes. The q-o-q rise comes after five sequential quarters of decline. Combined Q3 revenues of TSMC, UMC and Vanguard International Semiconductor (VIS) were $9.36 billion up from Q2’s $8.19 billion. Combined Q3 16nm revenues were $1.75 billion up 60.6% q-o-q ...
    Read full article: Return to sequential growth at Taiwan foundries

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