• 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.
  • Mec Com set Brexit aside to secure new orders

    A Staffordshire fabrication specialist has put aside uncertainty around Brexit to secure over £1.5m of new orders in six months.Mec Com has seen turnover rise to £14m after it started work on the Siemens’ Alpha project, which taps into the firm’s Total Manufacturing Solutions strategy to offer component production, final assembly and testing capabilities.
    This is said to have led to the creation of 39 new jobs and driven the need for a new £485,000 Trumpf 3030 Fibre
  • Compulsory roaming is not the best way to improve mobile coverage

    UK regulators and mobile operators have been asked by small cell basestation firm ip.access to share radio spectrum to improve mobile coverage in rural areas and beyond. A group of MPs in the the British Infrastructure Group (BIG) have proposed in a report titled: “Mobile Coverage: A good call for Britain?” compulsory roaming on mobile operators, as a ...
    Read full article: Compulsory roaming is not the best way to improve mobile coverage
  • Digi-Key offers DoE Level VI and CoC Tier 2 power supplies

    Digi-Key is now offering a range of DoE Level VI and CoC Tier 2-compliant external AC-DC adapters from power firm CUI. The US Department of Energy’s revision to its EISA 2007 external power supply (EPS) efficiency standard, which came into effect this year, increased the minimum efficiency requirements as well as expanding the range of products applicable under ...
    Read full article: Digi-Key offers DoE Level VI and CoC Tier 2 power supplies
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  • Researchers add graphene to silly putty to create sensors and medical devices

    Researchers have used graphene to make the children’s toy Silly Putty conduct electricity, a development that could lead to extremely sensitive sensors.The research, led by Prof Jonathan Coleman, Trinity College Dublin and in collaboration with Prof Robert Young of Manchester University, potentially offers applications in new, inexpensive devices and diagnostics in medicine and other sectors. The team’s findings have been published in the leading journal Science.
    Prof Coleman from Tr
  • Mapping the future: how computer vision will keep autonomous cars on the road

    Ben Peters, VP of Product and Marketing at FiveAI looks at how computer vision is defining navigation for autonomous vehicles.
    With the growth in digital services, not least the emergence of autonomous vehicles, what we understand as cartography is evolving. Traditionally, maps have been diagrams of an area that show physical features such as the elevation contours of mountains, the buildings in conurbations and the roads between them. Increasingly however, maps contain a broad range of additio
  • Mapping the future: how computer vision is keeping autonomous cars on the road

    Ben Peters, VP of Product and Marketing at FiveAI looks at how computer vision is defining navigation for autonomous vehicles.
    With the growth in digital services, not least the emergence of autonomous vehicles, what we understand as cartography is evolving. Traditionally, maps have been diagrams of an area that show physical features such as the elevation contours of mountains, the buildings in conurbations and the roads between them. Increasingly however, maps contain a broad range of additio
  • Nantero raises $21m for CNT memory production

    Nantero has raised $21 million bringing its total VC backing to $110m. Nantero currently has more than a dozen partners and customers in the consumer electronics, enterprise systems, and semiconductor industries actively working on CNT-based NRAM. The new funding will enable the company to support these partners in bringing multiple products into the market, while ...
    Read full article: Nantero raises $21m for CNT memory production
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  • Cavium joins China Unicom for vBBU development

    Cavium and China Unicom are to collaborate on the development of Virtualised BBU (base band unit from the base station) based on Cavium’s ThunderX data server ARM-based processors and provide a path for 5G adoption. Thecompanies will work together on new innovative fronthaul solutions, system architecture vBBU performance and deployment. This collaboration allows Cavium to ...
    Read full article: Cavium joins China Unicom for vBBU development
  • Imec shows Si-passivated Ge NMOS gate stack

    Imec has demo-ed a silicon-passivated germanium nMOS gate stack with dramatically reduced interface defect density (DIT) reaching the same level as a Si gate stack and with high mobility and reduced positive bias temperature instability (PBTI). This paves the way to Ge-based finFETs and gate all-around devices, as promising options for 5nm and beyond logic ...
    Read full article: Imec shows Si-passivated Ge NMOS gate stack
  • PV-clad buildings set to rise high

    Environmentally friendly high-rise apartments that generate more energy than they consume could soon be built, thanks to a concept designed by researchers in the Netherlands.The energy-positive apartment block, dubbed the Concept Urban Villa, was developed in a project led by Prof Mick Eekhout at TU Delft.
    A façade of black solar panels fitted to the south, west, and east-facing sides of the block generate energy, while the building has a timber frame to minimise its environmental footpri
  • Infra-red test to help target life-saving treatment for premature babies

    A life-threatening condition that affects half of all premature babies born before 32 weeks could be detected by a diagnostic test being developed in the UK.
    Neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (NRDS) is the most common cause of death in premature babies, and is caused by deficiency of surfactant in under-developed lungs.
    The condition, which also affects one per cent of babies born at full term, prevents the lungs absorbing enough oxygen, and can lead to complications such as chronic lung ch
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  • Xilinx is first licensee for ARM 7nm physical IP platform

    ARM has completed its physical IP platform for 7nm and it is now available to SoC designers for evaluation and licensing. The first licensee is Xilinx and the first tape-out on 7nm is expected to be a Xilinx design. “We expect the first tape-out as early as Q1, with H2 of 2017 for engineering samples, ...
    Read full article: Xilinx is first licensee for ARM 7nm physical IP platform
  • How robots can help meet the future challenges of infrastructure

     Professor Rob Richardson, Director of the National Facility for Innovative Robotic Systems at the University of Leeds, discusses the role robots can have in maintaining the built environment.
    When key infrastructure that we rely on every day fails, people get frustrated and businesses’ efficiency is reduced. Innovative robotic engineering can help, but what are the priorities and how can they be approached?
    This is the challenge the University of Leeds, working with the UK robot
  • Intel certifies Xeon processor for safety-critical design with Wind River RTOS

    Intel has launched a functional safety processor designed for use in safety-critical systems. It is the Intel Xeon processor D-1529 with industrial IEC 61508 certification. VxWorks, Wind River Linux and Wind River Simics are all supported by the Intel Xeon processor D-1529. Intel says it has already received a TÜV IEC 61508SIL 2 certification for this processor ...
    Read full article: Intel certifies Xeon processor for safety-critical design with Wind River RTOS
  • NI and IBM bring IoT analytics to heavy industry

    NI has joined up with IBM and SparkCognition to bring the capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI) and big data analysis to the maintenance of aging assets in heavy machinery, power generation and process manufacturing. The collection of raw data can be used for analysis and to improve operations, equipment and processes. The companies propose to use artificial intelligence-driven prognostics warn of component failures ...
    Read full article: NI and IBM
  • Solar space plane makes public debut

    SolarStratos, a solar-powered aircraft designed to reach the stratosphere, has been unveiled at a ceremony in Payerne, Switzerland.Weighing 450kg, the two-seater plane has a wingspan of 24.8m and is covered with 22m2 of photovoltaic panels, operating with a cell efficiency of 22-24 per cent. These power a 32kW electric motor, which drives the 2.2m propellers. Lithium-ion batteries provide 20kWh of storage.
    The project is the brainchild of Raphael Domjan, who in 2012 became the first person to ci
  • £13m for new surgical technology centre

    University College London (UCL) has been awarded over £13m from Wellcome and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to develop a special centre focussed on the development of new surgical technologies.
    The Wellcome/EPSRC Centre for Surgical and Interventional Sciences at UCL will bring together a wide team of engineering and clinical experts working to develop a range of new technologies. It will have a particular focus on intraoperative imaging and sensing, data fu
  • Tata and union chiefs reach deal to save Port Talbot steel jobs

    Tata Steel UK will continue operations at its blast furnace in Port Talbot following an agreement with trade unions on proposals to reform workers’ pensions.This proposal comes eight months after Tata announced their original intention to sell their UK steel assets.
    Starting next week, Tata Steel UK will start consultation on the proposal to close the British Steel Pension Scheme, with employees offered a defined contribution scheme in its place.
    Subject to the structural de-risking and de
  • Avnet names McBeth Premier Farnell president

    Graham McBeth is the new president of Premier Farnell following the acquisition of the online and catalogue distributor by Avnet earlier this year. McBeth, who was president of Avnet Abacus, replaces Premier Farnell’s interim President Steven Webb, who will remain with the company until January 31, 2017, to assist in the leadership transition.   “Since Avnet ...
    Read full article: Avnet names McBeth Premier Farnell president
  • TDK puts 15W converter in metal can to reduce EMI

    TDK-Lambda has packaged a range of 15W DC-DC converters in a metal case designed for providing six-sided shielding for reduced radiated EMI. The CCG15 has the industry standard 1 x 1 inch footprint, and can operate over a 4:1 input range. The CCG series is available with 3.3, 5, 12 or 15Vdc output voltages and can ...
    Read full article: TDK puts 15W converter in metal can to reduce EMI
  • Imec makes CMOS GAA nanowire MosFETs.

    Imec has achieved the CMOS integration of vertically stacked gate-all-around (GAA) silicon nanowire MOSFETs. Key in the integration scheme is a dual-work-function metal gate enabling matched threshold voltages for the n- and p-type devices. Also, the impact of the new architecture on intrinsic ESD performance was studied, and an ESD protection diode is proposed. These ...
    Read full article: Imec makes CMOS GAA nanowire MosFETs.
  • Leti integrates photodiodes below BOX of FD-SOI transistors

    Leti has developed a new light-sensing device that integrates photodiodes below the buried oxide (BOX) of FDSOI transistors, making the transistors very sensitive to visible light. Photodiodes were co-integrated in the SOI substrate, replacing conventional FDSOI transistor backgate. This device architecture may lead not only to very small pixels with maximized fill factor, but also ...
    Read full article: Leti integrates photodiodes below BOX of FD-SOI transistors
  • Wafer shortage will lead to price hikes, warn suppliers.

    There’s going to be an under-supply of 12 inch wafers and a price hike of up to 20%, reports Digitimes. TSMC, UMC and Micron are said to have been informed by their wafer suppliers that the contract price will be 10-20% higher as from Q1. Wafer suppliers Shin-Etsu Chemical, Sumco and Siltronic have all said ...
    Read full article: Wafer shortage will lead to price hikes, warn suppliers.
  • Understanding how electric fields make flames cleaner could improve power stations

    A study of the combustion of methane and the compounds formed when it burns could lead the development of cleaner gas turbines for power stations, according to researchers from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.
    The flat flame used for the KAUST team’s studyBurning hydrocarbons is a more complex process than it seems. If combustion is complete, then the products are carbon dioxide and water vapour, which may be undesirable in the atmosphere but are at least well unders
  • Bluetooth 5 signals second-generation beacons

    Today sees the formal adoption of the latest Bluetooth wireless comms standard - Bluetooth 5 - incorporating all the low energy features previously seen in Bluetooth Smart
    Read full article: Bluetooth 5 signals second-generation beacons
  • Making waves: life as a broadcast engineer

    David McKenna recently embarked on a graduate training programme with Babcock Media Services, where he works on the technology behind the BBC World Service, as well as the fibre, satellite and internet delivery of Babcock’s Formula E broadcasts.At 32, David’s route into engineering has been slightly unorthodox, and is proof that a career in STEM can begin at a later age. The Student Engineer caught up with him to find out more.What degree do you have and where did you study?
    I studie
  • UltraSoC licenses HiSilicon

    HiSilicon has taken a license for UltraSoC’s IP for system monitoring, analysis and optimisation. UltraSoC’s IP provides an independent system-level architecture that enables non-intrusive, wire-speed monitoring of the internal behavior of a system-on-chip (SoC). It accelerates and de-risks development by giving engineers an intimate understanding of the complex interactions between on-chip sub-systems, buses and software. ...
    Read full article: UltraSoC licenses HiSilicon
  • Reflecting on the power of collaboration

    EPSRC’s Prof Tom Rodden reflects on The Engineer’s 2016 Collaborate To Innovate initiative
    It has been a great pleasure to be involved with Collaborate to Innovate. The initiative allows us to recognise and showcase some of the UK’s world-leading engineering research and innovation – and we have much to be proud of.
    Read all about the shortlisted and winning entries here 
    When internationally benchmarked, the UK punches above its weight as a research nation[i]. The U
  • Cambridge University’s IfM joins new hub for medicines manufacturing

    Cambridge University’s Institute for Manufacturing is to play a key role in a new research hub aimed at transforming the way medicines and other high value materials are made.
    The hub, led by Strathclyde University, is one of six in the UK announced this week that is to share £60m of funding as part of the government’s industrial strategy.
    The Future Continuous Manufacturing and Advanced Crystallisation (CMAC) Hub has been set up to develop manufacturing processes for high-valu

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