• 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.
  • Church spires to boost mobile connections

    Church spires across the UK will be used to boost digital connectivity in rural areas following an agreement between the Government and the Church of England. The accord, signed by the the National Church Institutions (NCIs) of the Church of England, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Department for the ...
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  • ISSCC: Background calibration boost for ADC

    At the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco, Analog Devices revealed a 20-bit 1Msample/s successive approximation ADC with 0.3ppm INL (integral non‑linearity). Key to this performance is a constantly-running background calibration technique that allows the ADC to process its input signal without interruption, while compensating for ageing, temperature sensitivity, package stress and PCB stress. ...
    This story continues at ISSCC: Background calibration boost for AD
  • Design: How would you make a 10MHz scope HAT for Raspberry Pi?

    There seems no end to the challenges the Raspberry Pi community has tackled with its credit-card-sized computer – there are at least two in space, plenty hidden away inside industrial equipment and loads around the globe educating children. Having spent a while recently trying to fix an ancient oscilloscope, it occurred to me that it ...
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  • ISSCC: 80GHz automotive radar on one chip

    Could a single multi-mode radar IC fulfil the needs of: vehicle corner radars, which have to be physically small vehicle urban front radars, which need a wide field of view vehicle narrow-beam highway radars? Texas Instruments said ‘yes’ in an ISSCC paper devoted to a single‑chip 76GHz-81GHz frequency-modulated continuous wave (FMCW) radar transceiver in 45nm ...
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  • Components Datasheets – view and download for free

    We are very pleased to welcome on board the SamacSys component search engine. In the first of a series by SamsacSys, let's drill down into some of its features.
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  • Tracking technique could help keep captured CO2 stay underground

    Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage confirms that chemical tracers added to sequestered CO2 can give an early warning of leakage
    Geological storage is a popular potential option for storing carbon dioxide captured from industrial processes or combustion related to electricity generation; the idea is to pump the gas into depleted natural gas wells or other naturally occurring subterranean geological structures.
    However, the security of this technique depends on being certain that the injected gas
  • Bioprinting technique gives additive advantage to tissue engineering

    Researchers have developed a bioprinting technique that combines molecular self-assembly with additive manufacturing, an advance with potential benefits for tissue engineering and drug testing.
    Cells spreading on the outside of a PA-based scaffoldLed by Queen Mary University of London, the researchers have created structures embedded in an ink, which they said is similar to their native environment and opens the possibility of making them behave as they would in the body.
    This would allow resear
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  • Thermal transfer ‘Melt Mat’ clears snow from paths and driveways

    A team of young engineers from Virginia Tech has designed a thermally absorptive blanket that amplifies the sun’s heat to melt snow faster.Known as the Melt Mat, it consists of a thin sheet of aluminium spray-coated with an ultra-flat black paint. When draped over a snowbank, the Melt Mat absorbs energy from the sun’s rays at an accelerated rate, transferring the heat directly onto the highly-reflective snow. According to the study, which is published in the journal Langmuir, snowban
  • February 1957: The supersonic jet Fairey Delta 2

    The Engineer offered fresh insights into supersonic jet Fairey Delta 2, the research jet which preceded Concorde by more than 10 years
    The UK’s Fairey Delta 2 hit a speed of 1,152 mph in 1956February 1957, Robert Lickley of the Fairey Aviation Company addressed the Royal Aeronautical Society. His subject was the Fairey Delta 2 (FD2), a supersonic research jet first displayed to the public two years earlier at Farnborough. But it was not until March 1956, when the FD2 set a flight airspeed
  • Small vector network analyser works up to 62MHz

    Red Pitaya has launched a vector network analyser (VNA) extension for its credit-card-sized plug-in STEMlab data acquisition hardware, which works with a host PC running Windows or Linux. It covers 500kHz to 62MHz, has a typical directivity of 42dB, a dynamic range of 74dB and a noise floor at 88dBm. Features of its companion software ...
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  • Graphene finds a use in golf balls

    Graphene has found a new application – golf balls. Sports goods supplier Callaway starts selling graphene infused balls today. They cost £38 per dozen. A graphene infused outer skin of the ball can be made thinner than the skin of a conventional golf ball  which allows for a larger core which increases the speed at ...
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  • Siemens buys Sarokal

    Siemens is to buy Sarokal Test Systems which sells cellular testing products to chipset vendors, fronthaul equipment manufacturers, and network operators. “The planned acquisition of Sarokal reinforces our ongoing commitment to EDA and the IC industry,” says Tony Hemmelgarn, president and CEO of Siemens PLM Software. “building on our acquisition of Mentor Graphics, we continue ...
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  • Toshiba’s new boss sees job as a ‘calling’

    Toshiba’s new boss Nobuaki Kurumatani sees his job as more than just managerial, for him it’s a calling. “I’m seeing this as a calling that I have been picked to be in charge of this crucial task of rebuilding Toshiba, which is considered as one of Japan’s precious assets,” says Kurumatani. “I’m going to dedicate ...
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  • Apple takes 51% of Q4 smartphone revenues

    Apple took 51% of worldwide smartphone revenues in Q4 2017, says Strategy Analytics. Q4 smartphone revenues hit an all-time high of $120bn, growing  8% year-on-year during Q4. ASP increased 18% y-o-y from $255 in Q4 2016 to $300 in the fourth quarter of 2017. iPhone Q4 revenues were $61bn – three times more than nearest rival ...
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  • 5G comms prototype at 2018 Winter Olympics

    A 5G network will be demonstrated in Gangneung, one of the city’s hosting the winter Olympics, to coincide with the games. 5G beam-emitting transmitter array antenna at Leti Running from 20 to 22 February, the 5GChampion consortium has arranged for games visitors to experience the network while riding a special bus between event venues. “Wearing ...
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  • Cobham Wireless idDAS now supports C-RAN and vRAN

    Cobham Wireless has today announced the next stage in the development of its idDAS (intelligent digital Distributed Antenna System), which is interoperable with vRAN (virtualised radio access networks) capabilities, providing an end-to-end, high-capacity, cost-effective coverage solution.  Cobham Wireless is now ready to support both C-RAN and vRAN architectures. This vRAN approach replaces baseband units (BBUs) with ...
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  • ISSCC: Analogue boost for AI robot processor

    Georgia Institute of Technology has used analogue processing to squeeze a 3.12Top/W (average) artificial intelligence processor onto a CMOS (55nm) chip, consuming only 690μW (1.2V), and aimed at self-teaching micro-robots that need to learn about their immediate environments. The processor is an accelerator for ‘reinforcement learning’ – a behaviourist psychology-inspired learning algorithm that mimics the ...
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  • Fujitsu to sell e-peas energy harvesters

    Fujitsu Electronics Europe (FEEU) is expanding its ultra-low-power linecard portfolio to include products from the Belgian manufacturer e-peas. e-peas has developed energy-harvesting solutions which support a wide range of energy sources such as photovoltaic, thermal, vibration or RF. With the new partnership, FEEU seeks to strategically extend its portfolio and to create new synergies between ...
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  • Farnell adds 360,000sq ft of capacity in Leeds

    Premier Farnell has opened a 360,000 sq foot warehouse at Muse Development’s Logic Leeds, within a Leeds City Council Enterprise Zone, retaining £650m in revenue and jobs in the Yorkshire region. The site, based off junction 45 of the M1, will stock over 420,000 products  and has the potential for up to one million square feet ...
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  • Toshiba boosts in-car audio amplifier range

    Toshiba Electronics Europe has added a 45W (4Ω load) four-channel audio power amplifier to its in-car entertainment range. TCB001FNG is based upon a complementary MOS process with n and p-channel DMOS fets. Supply can vary across 6 to 18V, allowing operation while the engine is idling or cranking. “The product includes functions to detect and ...
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  • Catalytic metal foams harness sunlight to clean water

    A chemical engineer at Bath University has been given a five-year EPSRC Fellowship to develop photocatalytic nanoporous anodic metal foams that can remove micropollutants from water.Professor Davide Mattia (Credit: Bath University)
    Micropollutants – found in toxic chemicals such as drugs, hormones and pesticides – appear in wastewater in low concentrations, and can eventually work their way into the food chain via the soil, potentially causing long-term harm. The majority of water tr
  • Video of the week: SpotMini adds decorum to daily duties

    This week’s video comes from Boston Dynamics, the company whose numerous robots can run, jump, yomp and now, it would appear, hold doors open for one another.The robot in question is SpotMini, a small four-legged robot that was first introduced in June 2016 as a 30kg derivative of its larger sibling Spot, which itself evolved from the BigDog programme. Those of you unfamiliar with BigDog’s capabilities can recap via our 2009 feature BigDog – an infantryman’s best fri
  • ISSCC: Deep learning hardware boosts for AI

    The International Solid-State Circuits Conference’s digital architecture sub‑committee took time out to talk about artificial intelligence processors. It noted that: “Deep learning is a rapidly evolving topic, and the computational complexity of typical deep neural networks impedes their execution on resource‑scarce mobile or wearable devices. “Last year, several innovative solutions were introduced to enhance throughput ...
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  • Catalytic process improves speed and efficiency of medicines manufacture

    About 70 per cent of pharmaceuticals are manufactured using palladium-driven catalytic processes, which can be fast or efficient but not at the same time.
    Close-up of the microspheres at 500µm (credit: Milad Abolhasani)Now, researchers at North Carolina State University have now developed a so-called green chemistry method that reportedly combines aspects of both processes to improve efficiency at a minimal cost of processing time.
    Palladium-driven catalytic reactions are used to connect
  • Arrow signs Basler

    Arrow has signed Basler, the German industrial digital camera vendor, have signed an agreement under which Arrow will distribute the complete Basler range of products throughout the EMEA region. In addition, Arrow added Basler to its digital global linecard. With this, Basler`s products are available to online customers worldwide. With a particular focus on Basler’s ...
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  • Infineon integrates shunt resistors into EconoDUAL3 modules

    Infineon has integrated shunt resistors into its EconoDUAL3 modules  for current monitoring in the AC path. Implementing these devices helps inverter manufacturers to reduce cost, improve performance and simplify the inverter designs. The EconoDUAL 3 with integrated shunts can be used in a wide variety of applications, such as general purpose motor drives, uninterruptable power ...
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  • Acoustic blockage-detection system could prevent aircraft accidents

    Acoustic detection techniques similar to those used to spot blockages in the ears of newborn babies could be used to prevent aircraft accidents by spotting blockages in pitot tubes, the pressure sensors that are widely used to determine airspeed of aircraft.
    A bee trapped in a Pitot tube. Credit: University of BristolPitots have played a role in several aircraft accidents, including the fatal Air France Flight 447 in 2009. Now, according to aerospace engineers at the University of Bristol,
  • ST and Innogration combine on LDMOS

    STMicroelectronics has signed an agreement on LDMOS – Laterally Diffused Metal Oxide Semiconductor RF power technology – from Innogration Technologies, a fabless semiconductor company headquartered in Suzhou, China, specializing in the design and manufacturing of RF power semiconductor devices, modules, and sub-system assemblies. Combining a short conduction-channel length with a high breakdown voltage, LDMOS devices ...
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  • Qualcomm and Broadcom meet

    Broadcom and Qualcomm met earlier today to discuss Broadcom’s bid. “We met with representatives of Broadcom for two hours earlier today, and listened carefully to what they had to say,” says  Qualcomm,  “the Qualcomm board will promptly meet to discuss the meeting and to determine next steps.” If no deal is reached the bid moves ...
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