• 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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  • Robots cope with unforeseen injuries

    Robots can pre-learn strategies for future unpredicted injuries, claims a French-US team, and cope even when the nature of the damage is unknown. The process is two-step, and dubbed ‘intelligent trial and error’. Step one is performed once for each type of robot: Computer modelling techniques are used to try a huge number of possible...
    steve bush
  • Phone apps could equal conventional eye tests for remote communities

    UK researchers have used a phone app to test eyesight in Kenyan homes, and found it as good as conventional eye chart test in a clinic. The test – called Peek (portable eye examination kit) Acuity – has been developed by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the University of Strathclyde and the...
    steve bush
  • New synchrotrons at ESRF will increase understanding of materials and matter

    An upgrade programme at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) is set to lead to an increased understanding of materials and living matter.
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  • Nanotech researchers come to Birmingham event

    Nanotechnology researchers from around the world will gather at Birmingham City University’s City Centre Campus next month for a two-day conference. Called “Advances in nanotechnology 2015“, the conference and workshops will discuss the manipulation of matter on an atomic, molecular, and supramolecular scale in medicine and healthcare, nanomechanics and industrial applications of graphene. Speakers at...
    Richard Wilson
  • US researchers develop 'wooden' semiconductor

    Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison have joined forces with the US Department of Agriculture Forest Products Laboratory to develop a semiconductor chip made almost entirely of wood.
  • University takes optical fibre research to market

    The University of Southampton’s Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) is making its next-generation optical fibre available for purchase. Until now, access to the technology was limited to commercial or academic collaborations. The new optical fibre will be used in high-power lasers, high bandwidth communications and visible and infrared sensing. The Southampton research centre is promoting the...
    Richard Wilson
  • Southampton University takes optical fibre research to market

    Southampton University, in its Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), is making its next-generation optical fibre available for purchase. Until now, access to the technology was limited to commercial or academic collaborations. The new optical fibre will be used in high-power lasers, high bandwidth communications and visible and infrared sensing. The Southampton University research centre is promoting the fibre...
    Richard Wilson
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  • EPC 31A 200V enhancement-mode GaN FET available from Digi-Key

    Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) has introduced two GaN FETs that handle 31A continuously – the 200V EPC2034 and the 150V EPC2033. The firm is keen to promote pulse capability, which is 140A for the 200V part, and 260A for the 150V part. Both are 2.6×4.6mm, and can operate with junctions up to 150°C. Typical on-resistance...
    steve bush
  • 31A 200V enhancement-mode GaN FET from Digi-Key

    Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) has introduced two GaN FETs that handle 31A continuously – the 200V EPC2034 and the 150V EPC2033. The firm is keen to promote pulse capability, which is 140A for the 200V part, and 260A for the 150V part. Both are 2.6×4.6mm, and can operate with junctions up to 150°C. Typical on-resistance...
    steve bush
  • 'Watchmaker's sonic screwdriver' manipulates microparticles

    Acoustic vortices spin microparticles for ’sonic screwdriver’ that could purify water and sort cells
  • Comment: Qualcomm, Avago/Broadcom is coming for you

    Watch out Qualcomm, Avago/Broadcom is coming for you. This is the clear message from the agreed $37bn deal which will see Avago Technologies acquire Broadcom. This has the potential to be the largest and most significant merger in the semiconductor industry since the hiatus of the credit-crunch in 2008/9, perhaps of all-time. It is no...
    Richard Wilson
  • Redux Labs shows haptic display which is speaker too

    Redux Labs will demonstrate its haptic touch panel technology in San Jose, California at Display Week, 2015. Cambridge-based Redux has developed an haptic touch technology which can also provide audio sound without separate speakers. It will show next week in California a 15-inch demonstrator for its haptic touch technology, called SurfaceSensation, which it hopes will...
    Richard Wilson
  • Cambridge firm shows haptic display which is speaker too

    Redux Labs will demonstrate its haptic touch panel technology in San Jose, California at Display Week, 2015. Cambridge-based Redux has developed an haptic touch technology which can also provide audio sound without separate speakers. It will show next week in California a 15-inch demonstrator for its haptic touch technology, called SurfaceSensation, which it hopes will...
    Richard Wilson
  • Japan’s Eidec makes EUV resist that could speed EUV production 10x

    A highly sensitive resist which could speed up EUV production by 10x has been developed by Japan’s EUVL Infrastructure Development Centre (Eidec). This metal oxide-based material is highly sensitive to EUV light with a wavelength of 13.5nm. Because it absorbs EUV radiation more easily than ordinary resists made from organic compounds, the new material will...
    david manners
  • Developer turns Arduino into a frequency synthesiser

    Tsunami is a signal generator built on the Arduino platform. It is the brainchild of Nick Johnson at Arachnid Labs and has secured funding on Kickstarter for its commercial launch. It can be pre-ordered for $60.   The design is based on the Arduino Leonardo module and this combined with a direct digital synthesis (DDS) chip for...
    Richard Wilson
  • Avago to buy Broadcom

    Avago Technologies has agreed to acquire Broadcom in a $77bn deal. The deal will create a major supplier communications chips with annual revenues of approximately $15bn. The combined company will adopt the Broadcom name. “Today’s announcement marks the combination of the unparalleled engineering prowess of Broadcom with Avago’s heritage of technology from HP, AT&T, and LSI...
    Richard Wilson
  • NXP agrees $1.8bn RF sale to fund Freescale merger

    NXP Semiconductors has agreed to sell its RF power business to Chinese private equity firm Jianguang Asset Management  for $1.8bn. The sale of the RF power business, which supplies RF power amplifiers to the mobile phone basestation market, seems to have been a element in the proposed merger of NXP with Freescale Semiconductor. Proceeds from the sale of...
    Richard Wilson
  • Supercapacitors for IoT only 0.6mm thick

    Cap-XX has halved the thickness of its supercapacitors – to 0.6mm – aiming them at power-boosting in IoT applications. The range is called Thinline, conceived while working with a customer designing a disposable insulin pump. “We figured out how to eliminate materials and change some processes to reduce costs and thickness,” said Cap-XX CEO Anthony Kongats....
    steve bush
  • Super-caps for IoT only 0.6mm thick

    Cap-XX has halved the thickness of its supercapacitors – to 0.6mm – aiming them at power-boosting in IoT applications. The range is called Thinline, conceived while working with a customer designing a disposable insulin pump. “We figured out how to eliminate materials and change some processes to reduce costs and thickness,” said Cap-XX CEO Anthony...
    steve bush
  • Osram takes on CoBs in MR16 lamps

    Osram is taking on chip-on-board LEDs (CoBs) in MR16 lighting applications with a 7x7mm surface-mount (SMD) array LED named Duris S 10. “In view of the surface-mounted design of the LED, a pc board has to be incorporated in the luminaire. This opens up numerous design options such as integrating thermal fuses, connectors or driver...
    steve bush
  • UltraScale FPGA board scales to 600 million gates

    US-based Pro Design has come up with a kit for prototyping Xilinx Virtex UltraScale XCVU440 FPGAs and will demonstrate it at next month’s Design Automation Conference (DAC) in San Francisco. Scalable from 1 up to 4 pluggable Xilinx Virtex UltraScale XCVU440 based FPGA modules the Quad system offers a capacity of up to 120 million...
    Richard Wilson
  • On the move: charting the journey of HMS Prince of Wales' command centre

    A timelapse video featuring the command centre of the aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales has been released by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance.
  • Lab-on-a-chip promises rapid 'superbug' diagnosis

    A newly developed diagnostic chip could help in the treatment of antibiotic resistant infections by reducing the testing time for superbugs from days to around one hour.
  • Power Integrations beefs up CapZero X-cap discharger

    Power Integrations has announced a second generation of its novel CapZero discharger chip for mains X-capacitors. X-capacitors can hold charge after mains-powered equipment is turned off. Without a discharge device, this can result in residual high-voltage being present, for example, on a disconnected mains plug. The simplest discharger is a resistor, but using one results...
    steve bush
  • Beefed-up X-cap discharger

    Power Integrations has announced a second generation of its novel CapZero discharger chip for mains X-capacitors. X-capacitors can hold charge after mains-powered equipment is turned off. Without a discharge device, this can result in residual high-voltage being present, for example, on a disconnected mains plug. The simplest discharger is a resistor, but using one results...
    steve bush
  • Xero real-time management of cash-flow

    It is an unfortunate truism that many start-ups fail because they don’t pay attention to the cash-flow. Big organisations can reconcile their outflows and inflows daily, even hourly. Small companies couldn’t until New Zealand software company Xero came up with a package that connects a company’s accounts to its bank and to its payments system...
    david manners
  • sureCore offers FD-SOI SRAM core

    sureCore, the Sheffield low power SRAM IP company, has announced commercial availability of its first, ultra-low power, embedded SRAM IP. The silicon proven, 28nm FDSOI production design targets applications demanding long battery life with minimal operating and stand-by power performance. Supporting an operating voltage range of 0.7-1.2V, the Single Port SRAM boasts dynamic power savings...
    david manners
  • LPRS sponsors Warwick’s next CubeSat

    Low Power Radio Solutions (LPRS) is to join the sponsors of Warwickshire University satellite programme, whose second WUSat CubeSat recently impressed the European Space Agency by maintaining communication throughout re-entry after a ‘Rexus’ launch from Sweden. “This was the first occasion that an ESA/Rexus launch device had successfully achieved stand-alone radio transmission on re-entry,” said...
    steve bush
  • Real-time management of cash-flow

    It is an unfortunate truism that many start-ups fail because they don’t pay attention to the cash-flow. Big organisations can reconcile their outflows and inflows daily, even hourly. Small companies couldn’t until New Zealand software company Xero came up with a package that connects a company’s accounts to its bank and to its payments system...
    david manners

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