• 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.
  • Charger chip for LiFePO4 cells leaks less

    Intersil has announced a 3.6V single-cell battery charger for lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) cells. Called ISL78693 and qualified to AEC-Q100 Grade-3, it leaks only 3uA, suiting it to eCall back-up battery charging, said the firm, which announced the chip at the Automotive World conference in Tokyo. In the event of a crash, eCall systems are intended ...
    Read full article: Charger chip for LiFePO4 cells leaks less
  • Brexit: Hard times lie ahead

      Andrew Wade, senior reporter
    So, we finally have some clarity, and a hard Brexit looms. Theresa May’s speech yesterday outlined the key pillars of the UK’s exit strategy, including leaving the single market and the customs union. For many across industry, this is a worrying development. The prospect of tariffs and proof of origin requirements being reintroduced is difficult to countenance, and the prime minister’s assurances of as “frictionless” a trade deal
  • Brexit Britain: the impact on UK businesses

    Back in June 2016, Britain sent shockwaves through Europe and the rest of the world by voting to leave the European Union. In the months that have followed, there has been very little action to note, as we as a country come to terms with the decision and work out what to do next.
    However, while we’re yet to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, our businesses are already feeling the impact of Brexit. Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that materials and fuels pur
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  • Mains power chip is efficient at 6W

    Power Integrations has introduced a family of off-line, ac-dc converter ICs delivering up to 6.1W in wide-input range designs, and up to 9.2W for 230Vac open-frame applications. Designed for isolated and non-isolated fly-back topologies and called LinkSwitch-XT2, the family can achieve current and voltage regulation of better than -/+3% and typical efficiency above 80%. LinkSwitch-XT2 ICs consume less ...
    Read full article: Mains power chip is efficient at 6W
  • OLED electrodes made from graphene for the first time

    German researchers have succeeded in manufacturing organic light-emitting diode electrodes from graphene for the first time
    Orange luminous OLED on a graphene electrodeThe team, from the Fraunhofer Institute for organic electronics, electron beam and plasma technology FEP in Dresden was working on an EU-funded project known as Gladiator which focuses on production, characterisation and integration of graphene layers. OLEDs (organic light-emitting diodes) are becoming increasingly common in displ
  • All IoT forecasts are baloney

    The semiconductor industry will grow by 11% this year, Malcolm Penn, CEO of Future Horizons, told IFS 2017 in London this week. Unit demand growth is, however, trending below the 30 year average of 10%, said Penn. In 2013, the unit growth was 9.5%, in 2014 it was 8.3%, in 2015 it was 5.1%, and ...
    Read full article: All IoT forecasts are baloney
  • Danielle George says Marconi can inspire a generation

    How did the work of Guglielmo Marconi. the pioneer of long-distance radio transmission lead to today’s massive radio arrays which are watching star formation in deepest space? Danielle George, a Professor of Radio Frequency Engineering at the University of Manchester, will discuss the impact of Guglielmo Marconi on the world of radio astronomy in the Institution of Engineering and ...
    Read full article: Danielle George says Marconi can inspire a generation
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  • Melexis chip-set implements ToF 3D vision

    Melexis brings out a chipset and its evaluation kit that simplify and speed the implementation oftime‐of‐flight 3D vision.
    Read full article: Melexis chip-set implements ToF 3D vision
  • Nanoscale understanding of hair could lead to new body armour

    A greater understanding of hair’s properties could lead to the development of new materials for body armour and help cosmetics manufacturers create better hair care products.This is the claim of researchers from the University of California San Diego, who said hair has a strength to weight ratio comparable to steel and can be stretched up to one and a half times its original length before breaking.
    “We wanted to understand the mechanism behind this extraordinary property,” said
  • Xilinx wins space design-in

    FPGAs are at the heart of processing in Iridium NEXT satellites launched a few days ago, according to Xilinx.
    Read full article: Xilinx wins space design-in
  • US Army flies UK built hover bike

    The US military has successfully demonstrated the flying capabilities of a quad-copter hoverbike that it claims could transform the battlefield.
    Developed by engineers from the US army research laboratory (ARL) in collaboration with UK manufacturer Malloy Aeronautics, the so-called Joint Tactical Aerial Resupply Vehicle (JTARV) is being developed as a method of rapidly resupplying troops on the front line.
    A prototype under trial at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland“Anywhere on the bat
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  • Shrimp shells hold promise as oil-free alternative for plastic carrier bags

    Biodegradable shopping bags made out of discarded shrimp shells are being developed by researchers in the UK.
    Chitosan film from shrimp shellsThe project, being led by Dr Nicola Everitt at Nottingham University alongside researchers at Nile University in Egypt, is aimed at developing an alternative to oil-based plastics for use in packaging.
    By developing the biopolymer bags, the researchers hope to help reduce the significant waste problem in Egypt, as well as producing a new food packaging mat
  • US FTC suing Qualcomm

      After getting an $854 million fine from Korea for abuse of a dominant market position and a $975 million fine from China for abuse of a dominant market position, Qualcomm is now being sued by the American FTC for abuse of a dominant market position. “Qualcomm recognized that any competitor that won Apple’s business ...
    Read full article: US FTC suing Qualcomm
  • SkillWeld shows young people what they’re missing

    The Government is investing in a large range of infrastructure projects over the coming years but there is widespread concern that the engineering industry, dogged by a colossal skills shortage, won’t be able to keep up. Tim Hulbert of Air Products – a sponsor of SkillWeld 2016 and a world leader in industrial gas – explains why he thinks previous attempts to address the problem have fallen short and highlights a more effective way to promote careers in engineering.
    A whole new
  • Statoil sells 25 per cent stake in floating offshore wind farm

    Statoil has agreed to divest 25 per cent of its assets in the world’s first and largest floating offshore wind project to Masdar, an Abu Dhabi-based clean energy company.
    Under the agreement, Masdar will cover 25 per cent of past and future costs of the 30MW Hywind Scotland pilot project while Statoil will retain a 75 per cent stake. Statoil said the partnership also consists of a collaboration agreement which will enable the two companies to work together on clean energy technologies acro
  • Imagination brings complex games to mid-range phones

    Imagination Technologies is aiming to bring sophisticated gaming to mid-range mobiles with a series of PowerVR graphics processors (GPUs). The processors combine computational performance (‘flops’) with pixel processing performance (pixels/clock). In general, the flops pre-process image – in rich gaming environments, automotive object detection, augmented reality and virtual reality, for example – then the pixel ...
    Read full article: Imagination brings complex games to m
  • ACE start to 2017 for Shropshire etching company

    Advanced Chemical Etching (ACE) has experienced an encouraging start to 2017 with demand for its ‘etching’ service growing by 20 per cent over the last four months.
    The Shropshire manufacturer said interest has come from companies looking for busbars and components for battery management systems.
    Bosses at the Hortonwood-based firm believe these two sectors alone have the potential to generate up to £1.8m of sales between now and 2019.
    It has already funded new capital equipmen
  • Whitehouse helps Morris cut cycle times and labour costs

    Whitehouse machine tools have slashed the time needed to machine metal bar into gyroscope partsPlymouth subcontracting company Morris Engineering has reduced the time taken to turn and mill a part for a military aircraft gyroscope from stainless steel bar from one hour, 15 minutes, to 7.5 minutes using a 36mm capacity Biglia B436-Y2 twin-spindle lathe with two Y-axis turrets, supplied by Whitehouse Machine Tools.
    The degree to which the new process cuts down on inter-machine handling has also he
  • XYZ machines transform operations at automotive supplier

    The XYZ machine tools have improved manual turning and milling capabilities at WOSTwo machine tools have transformed operations at automotive components supplier WOS Performance.
    The company, whose products include starter motors and power supplies, needed to increase the rate at which it completed components, and was in particular need of improving its manual turning and milling capabilities.
    Initially, WOS purchased an XYZ SMX 2500 bed mill; since none of its employees at the time were trained
  • IMechE launches 2017 drone challenge

    This year’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Challenge has been officially launched by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).Now in its third year, the UAS Challenge will feature 19 student teams from the UK, as well as three international teams from Turkey, Egypt and Pakistan. The competition will see teams designing and building their drones before a “fly-off” later in the year where the vehicles will be tasked with transporting a package as accurately and rapidly as poss
  • Tech body welcomes May’s Brexit plan

    Commenting on today’s Brexit speech from Prime Minister Theresa May, Antony Walker, deputy CEO of techUK, believes leaving the Single Market will have a bigger impact on tech than the rest of the UK economy and so an orderly Brexit will be essential. But he does not think the risk of falling off a regulatory cliff ...
    Read full article: Tech body welcomes May’s Brexit plan
  • DMG Mori supplies high-precision machines for viscometer maker

    Viscosity-measuring instruments require high precisionViscometer manufacturer Hydramotion turned to DMG Mori when it neededto invest in manufacturing equipment.
    Its instruments are used in a wide range of industries, including oil and gas, food and beverage, paints and coatings and resins, measuring the viscosity of liquids to an extremely high precision. This demands that the components of the instruments have to conform to extremely tight tolerances in dimensions and very high-quality finishes
  • Leonardo turns to RK for rotor head machining

    Helicopter rotor heads are heavy and complex componentsRotor heads for helicopters are large and awkwardly shaped objects, and machining them from a forging is a challenging operation. When Leonardo Helicopters decided to bring manufacture of rotor heads in house, it turned to RK International to supply machine tools for its plant in Yeovil that was up to the task.
    Leonardo produces the Lynx range of helicopters, whose rotor heads are made from forgings measuring 1.5 x 1.5m. To make the pro
  • Building a future: career prospects in civil engineering

    With more than £500 billion of investment in the UK construction industry, and several major projects underway, there has never been a better time to build a career in infrastructure. Evelyn Adams reports
    The UK’s construction industry is ramping up activity in 2017. Last month, the government announced more than £500 billion worth of infrastructure investment – money that will benefit everything from the country’s built environment to its communications networks.
    T
  • Intel wants to put robots in shops

    Intel is going into shops, or it hopes so anyway. This will be base on the processor firm’s Responsive Retail Platform which makes the most of an IoT style sensor node with imagers, wireless connectivity along with new software and APIs. CEO Brian Krzanich told the Retail’s BIG Show in the US this week that the firm plans to invest ...
    Read full article: Intel wants to put robots in shops
  • Augmented reality guides surgeons during spine and cranial surgery

    An augmented reality system designed to guide surgeons through delicate minimally-invasive spinal procedures has been developed by Philips.The system, which combines camera images of the outside of the patient with three-dimensional X-rays of the inside of the body, is designed to create a detailed path for the spinal surgeon to follow. This could help to improve surgical tool navigation and implant accuracy, as well as reducing procedure times, the company claims.
    Spinal procedures have traditi
  • Charge the car, run the house

    Integrating the power storage potential of electric vehicles with the needs of a house is attracting interest around the world. Andrew Wade reports
    The Xstorage battery unit, produced in conjunction with Nissan and based on reconditioned cells from Leaf batteriesThe rising popularity of electric vehicles, combined with advances in energy storage, presents an exciting new opportunity to rethink the grid. Notions of car and home working in tandem have been around for a long time; vehicles charging
  • Scifi Eye: Cities that shape us

    Novellist Jon Wallace imagines the darker side of so-called smart homes
    The glass towers of dystopia?The most compelling scifi rarely has much positive to offer when it comes to imagining how we might accommodate our future population. Visions of future homes tend towards cramped squalor, such as Brazil’s warrens of failing ducts and paper-strewn, partitioned offices; 2000AD’s warring mega-blocks; and the stark edifices of Wells’s The Sleeper Awakes.
    It appears that science fic
  • Cities that shape us

    Novellist Jon Wallace imagines the darker side of so-called smart homes
    The glass towers of dystopia?The most compelling scifi rarely has much positive to offer when it comes to imagining how we might accommodate our future population. Visions of future homes tend towards cramped squalor, such as Brazil’s warrens of failing ducts and paper-strewn, partitioned offices; 2000AD’s warring mega-blocks; and the stark edifices of Wells’s The Sleeper Awakes.
    It appears that science fic

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