• GE metal process improves MEMS RF switches

     General Electric's research labs have developed a MEMS RF switch that can be engineered to handle up to 1kW or scaled to provide up to provide less than 0.3dB of insertion loss carrying 3GHz signals.
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  • Infineon debut in bond market

    Infineon has raised €800 million in the bond market to pay off the debt incurred by acquiring IR. One bond maturing in three years pays interest of 1% and raised €300 million. The other maturing in seven years pays interest of 1.5% and raised €500 million. Both bond offers were many time over-subscribed. It was...
    david manners
  • ARM or x86 for industrial computers?

    Low power consumption means ARM processors are making headway into the single-board industrial computer market, even as Intel, AMD and Via make lower power x86 chips. Cost, performance, and virtualisation are other parameters affecting adoption. GE Intelligent Platforms (formerly Radstone) makes both Intel and ARM-based single board computers (SBCs), and is selling them into vision-based...
    steve bush
  • Digital connectors exploit XLR mounting holes

    Allowing audio, data, and fibre signals to pass through 24mm XLR connector mounting holes, Cliff Electronics has created a range of feed-through connectors that accept standard cabling both front and rear, eliminating the need to solder or crimp at either side. “Using the same, industry standard, XLR connector cut-out already extensively used for audio and...
    steve bush
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  • RS Components gets a new boss

    RS Components has a new boss with the appointment of Lindsley Ruth as group chief executive of Electrocomponents, which owns the catalogue and online distributor. Ruth, who takes over at RS in April, is currently executive vice president of the Future Electronics, who he has worked for since 2002. He previously held senior positions with TTI...
    Richard Wilson
  • Talking drones to improve airspace safety

    Researchers in Australia have developed a drone that talks with air traffic controllers.
  • Raspberry Pi gets VNC remote access birthday present

    You can now connect your Raspberry Pi from any Windows, Mac or Linux computer using free downloadable software from RealVNC. The software known as VNC can be used with Raspberry Pi in two ways. If the Raspberry Pi is connected to a monitor or TV and is running a graphical desktop, the software allows the user...
    Richard Wilson
  • ARM looks to the Cloud

    ARM has developed an approach for an Intelligent Flexible Cloud (IFC) environment to meet the latency, power and size constraints for next-generation networks. IFC marries SoCs with a common layer of enabling software and distributed network intelligence, building on technologies such as Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) which, combined with distributed intelligence,...
    david manners
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  • Digi-Key adds premium Mentor tools to the list

    Digi-Key has added to the range of professional-level Mentor Graphics EDA/CAD tools it offers. The two companies have been collaborating for the last year to make professional-level EDA software at lower cost. Premium versions of both the Designer Schematic and Designer Layout tools are now available, featuring unlimited connections. Premium versions of the Designer Schematic...
    Richard Wilson
  • Google DeepMind AI learns to play games

    Google has developed artificial intelligence software capable of learning to play video games just by watching them. Google DeepMind, a London-based subsidiary, has trained an AI gamer to play 49 different video games from an Atari 2600, beating a professional human player’s top score in 23 of them. The software isn’t told the rules of...
    Alun Williams
  • Microchip aims at LED lighting

    Microchip has included a new power building block in a microcontroller aimed at LED lighting. Called the PIC16(L)F1769, the family has the first PICs to offer two independent closed-loop channels. The firm has steadily been introducing power control peripheral blocks over the last three years – so-called ‘core independent peripherals (CIPs), including for example its...
    steve bush
  • Microchip aims at LED car lighting

    Microchip has included a new power building block in a microcontroller aimed at LED lighting. Called the PIC16(L)F1769, the family has the first PICs to offer two independent closed-loop channels. The firm has steadily been introducing power control peripheral blocks over the last three years – so-called ‘core independent peripherals (CIPs), including for example its...
    steve bush
  • Technology will help architects 3D print concrete moulds

    A giant 3D printer capable of producing moulds up to the size of a phone box will allow architects to bring their creativity to life through the creation of freeform concrete designs.
  • Wearable motion tracker has multiple applications

    A technology best known for animating characters in games and films is now changing how human movement is studied in research and industry.
  • Blu Wireless validates millimetre wave gigabit modem IP at 40nm

    Blu Wireless Technology, which has developed baseband system IP for millimetre wave communications, has implemented its Hydra gigabit modem on a 40nm CMOS process. The modem, with associated firmware for the PHY and MAC functions, is aimed at millimetre wave communication applications including ‘WiGig’ 802.11ad and wireless Back Haul for LTE mobile networks. Henry Nurser, Blu Wireless...
    Richard Wilson
  • ADI gives 16-bit DAC output buffer and gain

    Analog Devices aims to simplifying the signal chain by designing a digital-to-analogue converter with a programmable output. The 16-bit DAC, the AD5761R, has output buffer and gain scaling function on-chip. The significance of this in data acquisition design is that it enables both unipolar and bipolar operation, through a software register update. ADI has also announced two...
    Richard Wilson
  • Comment: IoT needs FPGAs and SDR

    The internet of things (IoT) has come about because of five technologies: Moore’s law, Metcalf’s Law, battery technology, sensors, and wireless communications. But already we are seeing the internet of things sub-divide into two different sectors of application – consumer and industrial.  Typically when people think about the internet of things, they tend to think...
    Richard Wilson
  • UK companies in eight ECSEL projects

    For many years UK companies have not taken part in EU R&D programmes. This is partly because of UK government meannesss about funding, partly because of UK government imposition of restrictions and partly because of the perceived complications of the paperwork. However, in the EU’s ECSEL programme there are seven projects which have a UK...
    david manners
  • Rohde & Schwarz turn scope into spectrum analyser

    Rohde & Schwarz has added a spectrum analysis and spectrogram option to its RTM oscilloscopes. Using the RTM-K18 option, time and spectrum analyses can be configured completely independently of one another. This makes it possible to simultaneously analyse signal details that differ in time and frequency. Separate implementation of the signal paths makes this possible....
    Richard Wilson
  • Infineon sampling auto IGBTs

    Infineon is sampling a family of robust 650V IGBTs that can deliver highest efficiency in fast switching automotive applications. Volume production is scheduled for March. The AEC-Q-qualified TRENCHSTOP5 AUTO IGBTs will reduce power losses and improve reliability in electric vehicle (EV) and hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) applications such as on-board charging, power factor correction (PFC),...
    david manners
  • Titanium folding bike heads for crowd funding

    A start up in Canada has designed Helix, a bicycle claimed to be smaller, lighter, safer and easier to use than any other folding bike in the world.
  • Altium adds bikini coverlay support for rigid-flex PCBs

    Altium has announced the next update to its PCB design tool, Altium Designer. The new features in Altium Designer 15.1 are adding to an existing foundation set in place with the initial release of Altium Designer 15, which focused on improvements to the high-speed design process.   Version 15.1 is adds: Improved support for xSignals...
    Richard Wilson
  • Home kidney disease monitoring with £10 device

    A new £10 medical device that combines nanotechnology with a pregnancy test-style kit could allow day-to-day monitoring of kidney disease by patients in their own homes.
  • TI redesigns wireless MCUs from ground up

    Texas Instruments has released a family of low-power wireless microcontrollers, claiming 10 year life on a single coin cell in a ZigBee or 6LoWPAN light switch. Applications in fitness and internet-of-things applications are also expected, and the 6LoWPAN versions comes with an in-built IPv6 address. The completely new design combines an ARM Cortex-M3 with radios...
    steve bush
  • Ultrasensitive UV detector for early fire warning

    Researchers have created a ultra-violet light detector that is 10,000 times more sensitive to UV light than a traditional zinc oxide detector, paving the way for improved fire and gas detection.
  • Atmel’s ARM Cortex-M0+ MCUs are automotive grade

    Atmel has introduced a range of automotive-qualified ARM Cortex-M0+ based MCUs with an integrated peripheral touch controller (PTC) for capacitive touch applications. The microcontroller can be used for capacitive touch button, slider, wheel or proximity sensing applications. Designated SAM DA1, the microcontroller has specified performance of 2.14 Coremark/MHz and a maximum operating frequency of 48MHz. On...
    Richard Wilson
  • World's first biofuel from whisky residues aim for lead in £100m market

    A Scottish company has revived a defunct fermentation technology to create biofuel from the residues of whisky production. 
  • EUV achieves 1000 wpd with 90W source

    TSMC told the SPIE Lithography conference that it has exposed 1,022 wafers in 24 hours with an ASML NXE:3300B EUV machine with a  source power of 90W and that it has achieved several 400+ wafer per day results. “During a recent test run on an NXE:3300B EUV system we exposed 1,022 wafers in 24 hours...
    david manners
  • Comment: 3D printed car is a reality

    At the start, there was no generic name. The simple glass of the car windshield started to incorporate printed antennas and heaters. It was what we now know as “structural electronics” – one structure performing mechanical, electrical and other functions. The dumb material is no longer needed. Fast forward to 2015 and the world’s first...
    Richard Wilson
  • FPGAs secured by cloud authentication

    Microsemi has worked with Germany-based encryption specialist Escrypt on a reference design using its SmartFusion2 SoC FPGAs and IGLOO2 FPGAs. The designs incorporate Escrypt’s CycurKEYS cloud-based Certificate Authority (CA). The cloud service allows users to integrate Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) functionality into their systems without the cost and complexity of building and hosting their own...
    Richard Wilson

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