• 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.
  • 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
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  • 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
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  • 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 ...
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  • 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, ...
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  • 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
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  • 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 ...
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  • 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 ...
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  • 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
  • 7nm processes at IEDM

    In two late-news papers at IEDM 2016 in SanFrancisco on December 3rd to 7th, both TSMC and the IBM, Globalfoundries, Samsung alliance will take the wraps off their forthcoming 7nm FinFET technology platforms. A 7nm CMOS Platform Technology for Mobility from TSMC will present the world’s first 7nm CMOS platform technology for mobile system-on-a-chip (SoC) ...
    Read full article: 7nm processes at IEDM

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