• 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.
  • Novel wet etch makes better finfets

    University of Illinois researchers have developed a way to wet-etch tall clean fins for finfets. It works for indium phosphide, but not for silicon – yet. The aim was to etch tall fins with vertical sides and few surface blemishes. “We use a technique that gives a much higher aspect ratio, and the sidewalls are ...
    Novel wet etch makes better finfets
  • New competition challenges students to design motorcycle race engine

    CAD company Esteco is teaming up with Aprilia Racing and Gamma Technologies for a new competition where students will have to design a motorcycle race engine.
    (Credit: Thomas Gray via CC)The Esteco Academy Design Competition 2016 is aimed primarily at engineering faculties, and is open to teams of undergraduate and graduate students around the world. Teams of up to five people will be required to submit designs for a powerful but efficient four stroke single cylinder engine with a maximum 250cc
  • Amazon delivery drones get green light for UK trials

    Online retail giant Amazon will begin testing its delivery drones in the UK, after receiving permission from a cross-government team that includes the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
    (Credit: Amazon)The agreement gives Amazon the go-ahead to trial three specific components: beyond line-of-sight operations in rural and suburban areas, sensor performance for obstacle identification and avoidance, and flights where one operator oversees multiple autonomous drones. All three elements wi
  • Advertisement

  • X-Fab presents First-Time-Right and X-Cite awards

    X-FAB Silicon Foundries today announced the first winners of its annual First-Time-Right Award and semi-annual X-Cite Award. iC-Haus GmbH and New Japan Radio each won the First-Time-Right award for mastering significant implementation challenges in developing analogue and mixed-signal ICs that fulfill the target specification at first design iteration. Fabless semiconductor company MinDCet NV won the ...
    X-Fabpresents First-Time-Right and X-Cite awards
  • Raspberry Pi becomes vehicle ECU

    Electric two-seat pedal cars in Germany are getting an on-board computer thanks to masters student Adrien Hoffet and a Raspberry Pi . The Twike, manufactured by Fine Mobile in Germany, is half-bike and half-electric car for one or two people: it has a 3kW motor (8kW peak), pedals, a lightweight frame, and weather-proof body.  Maximum speed ...
    Raspberry Pi becomes vehicle ECU
  • Stadium builds global power supply business

    Stadium has created an enlarged power supply business by combining its Stadium Power and Stontronics brands. Called Stadium Stontronics, the business which supplies standard and custom power supplies up to 10kW, will operate from Reading in the UK and Hong Kong. It will also have regional design centres in Norwich and Shanghai. The power supply business ...
    Stadium builds global power supply business
  • Stadium builds global power business

    Stadium has created an enlarged power supply business by combining its Stadium Power and Stontronics brands. Called Stadium Stontronics, the business which supplies standard and custom power supplies up to 10kW, will operate from Reading in the UK and Hong Kong. It will also have regional design centres in Norwich and Shanghai. The business will use ...
    Stadium builds global power business
  • Advertisement

  • Last week’s Poll: the sale of ARM Holdings to Softbank for £24bn

    Engineer readers are pessimistic about the implications of the sale of UK chip designer ARM Holdings to Japan’s Softbank.
    This poll elicited the most clear-cut conclusion for several weeks. Of the 509 respondents, a clear majority, 59 per cent, thought the acquisition of ARM represented a loss of sovereignty over chip design. Fifteen per cent thought it an opportunist merger (perhaps because of the post-referendum weakness of Sterling); while 14 per cent thought it showed the UK was &lsquo
  • This week’s poll: solar aircraft circumnavigation

    Solar-powered flight was dismissed as a gimmick, and a useless and impractical one at that, at the launch of the Solar Impulse 2 project; but the successful landing of pilots Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg in Abu Dhabi at the weekend at the end of their mammoth flight surely laid doubts about the project to rest.
    Bertrand Piccard brings Si2 in for a landingBreaking 19 world records, including the longest solar-powered flight and, for Borschberg, the longest uninterrupted solo flight for a
  • Virtual reality puts athletes on track

    Simulation techniques used to develop advanced military technologies have been integrated into the world of elite sports trainingVisualisation specialists at BAE Systems have been helping British athletes train by providing 360° and 3D simulations of course layouts ahead of major competitions.
    Digital headset technologies are being used to integrate 3D video in new ways to provide advantages a number of summer sports including sailing, canoe slalom and triathlon, and potentially winter sport
  • ams buys optical sensor firm in Germany

    Austrian sensor and analogue IC manufacturer ams has acquired spectral sensing systems specialist MAZeT for an undisclosed amount in cash. Germany-based MAZet’s capabilities in IC and filter design and software system development are used in industrial and medical. Its sensors being used in applications including airplane interior lighting, agricultural sensors, and medical skin lesion analysis. Thomas Riener (pictured), ...
    ams buys optical sensor firm in Germany
  • Advertisement

  • Micro medical robots inspired by bacteria

    Scientists at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) have developed a range of micro-robots with various medical applications.
    (Credit: Selman Sakar)The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, explains how the microbots are made using a combination of biocompatible hydrogel and magnetic nanoparticles. An electromagnetic field orientates the nanoparticles, then a polymerisation process
  • Amazon testing delivery drones in UK

    The CAA has given Amazon exceptions from rules around the operation of drones in certain areas. It will be able to test drones which are out of sight of an operator. It will be able to trial sense and avoid technology. It will be able to have one pilot control multiple drones. Amazon is developing ...
    Amazon testing delivery drones in UK
  • Low-profile locking connector for LED lighting

    AVX has added a locking plug to its 70-9159 series of low-profile 5A board to board connectors. Part of its ‘Stript’ insulator-less single contact range, the gold-plated beryllium-copper (BeCu) spring contacts have a positive latching mechanism and can absorb a 1mm of tolerance in the x and y direction. Led lighting is one intended application – the ...
    Low-profile locking connector for LED lighting
  • Promoted Content: Allianz Engineering focuses on raising the profile of engineering as a career choice for all

    Allianz Engineering, part of Allianz Insurance Plc and the global Allianz Group, is one of the leading engineering insurance and inspection providers in the UK. We are always seeking dedicated and driven engineers to join us and within this recruitment we are also striving to increase the number of female engineers we employ by proactively engaging and making ourselves appealing to both men and women either working in, or interested in working in this industry.
    Allianz is looking to increase the
  • The Secret Engineer: What do they teach them these days?

    Our anonymous blogger questions the quality of a modern engineering education
    Summer is here, the Sun has shone for at least two days in a row, mittens and scarves have finally been discarded, and engineering students are looking for “fill in” jobs to help provide beer money during the holiday. Thus my mind turns to a fresh faced hopeful who briefly joined me a year ago to help out with general drawing work.
    Sam came to us after completing his first year of an engineering design degr
  • Decision time for Hinkley Point

    Jason Ford, news editor
    This Thursday sees EDF’s board of directors meet to discuss and announce its final investment decision for the construction of two EPR reactors at Hinkley Point C in Somerset.
    The company, which operates 15 nuclear reactors in England and Scotland, has stated that HPC would strengthen its position in Britain and allow it to ‘mobilise all its significant nuclear engineering skills following the final investment’.
    If plans run to schedule, EDF’s EPR
  • 5G could have slow take-up after 2020

    If 5G mobile phone services launch in 2020 it is being predicted that there could be 24 million 5G subscriptions worldwide by the end of 2021 for mobile and fixed broadband services, according to Ovum. To put this into perspective, there are over 5 billion mobile phone users today. So this prediction indicates a modest ...
    5G could have slow take-up after 2020
  • UK firm hails solar steam breakthrough

    UK renewables specialist Lark Energy has been granted a UK patent for a solar thermal system that it claims could have a host of applications for power generation and desalination.
    Dubbed ‘solar steam’, the technology works by focusing the sun’s rays through a Fresnel lens array onto a tube that contains water. The water is heated to create steam which can be used in industrial heating and cooling applications.
    The angle of the lens array can be adjusted through a vertical
  • Intel and Samsung invest in fast memory start-up

    Intel and Samsung have identified a new fast memory access technology and have made venture investments in the company behind it. Western Digital has also invested in US-based Kazan Networks that has closed a $4.5m Series A funding round. The communications interface technology is used to access solid-state drives (SSDs) used in datacentre storage and ...
    Intel and Samsung invest in fast memory start-up
  • Galileo and Japan’s QZSS constellation to be integrated

    Talks are starting on integrating the GPS satellite constellations of the EU and Japan. It is hoped that an integrated constellation will help the development of autonomous vehicles, farm machinery and construction equipment by allowing those made in Japan and the EU to use GPS signals from either constellation. Japan’s Quasi-Zenith Satellite System and the ...
    Galileo and Japan’s QZSS constellation to be integrated
  • MLCC sits between NP0/C0G and Z7R in size and stability

    Kemet is aiming at timing, filtering and phase-locked loops (PLLs) with a ceramic capacitor that has double the capacitance of CoG/NP0 types. Made to meet the U2J specification, the family has a linear -750±120ppm/ºC temperature coefficient – compared to zero for C0G/NP0 and non-linear for X7R – and works from -55 to +125ºC. “It also provides ...
    MLCC sits between NP0/C0G and Z7R in size and stability
  • MLCC sits between NP0/C0G and X7R in size and stability

    Kemet is aiming at timing, filtering and phase-locked loops (PLLs) with a ceramic capacitor that has double the capacitance of CoG/NP0 types. Made to meet the U2J specification, the family has a linear -750±120ppm/ºC temperature coefficient – compared to zero for C0G/NP0 and non-linear for X7R – and works from -55 to +125ºC. “It also provides ...
    MLCC sits between NP0/C0G and X7R in size and stability
  • Discovery means robot centipedes go fast and turn quickly

    Deepening understanding of centipede walking could improve robot locomotion, according to the University of Kyoto, which has been studying centipede movement for years. Its latest finding is that being on the point of instability balances straight-line and turning performance in multi-legged robots. The questions the researchers set themselves was: with all the friction created by ...
    Discovery means robot centipedes go fast and turn quickly
  • Autonomous delivery robots hit London

    The streets of London will soon be home to a fleet of the world’s first autonomous delivery robots, as Starship Technologies begins trials in Greenwich.
    (Credit: Starship Technologies)Set up by Skype co-founders Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis, Starship has been testing its six-wheeled bots across 40 cities since the end of last year, clocking up about 5,000 miles so far without incident. The next phase of the programme will see the company team up with partners including Just Eat and Hermes t
  • Research aims to prevent “maritime equivalent of a motorway pile-up”

    A team from Nottingham University and Royal Norwegian Naval Academy are investigating how to prevent shipping Global Positioning Signals being jammed in cyberattacks.
    Commercial shipping is highly automated with networked navigational systems, including differential GPS (DGPS) that is said to offer more accurate positioning – to one metre – than conventional GPS. These maritime DGPS receivers are, however, easy to disrupt using £50 jammer devices.
    DGPS signal disruption, partic
  • Sensor sales soar but ASPs sink

    Sensor unit sales keep hitting new records but price erosion is curbing dollar growth, says IC Insights. Despite double-digit percentage increases in annual unit shipments, semiconductor sensor sales growth has become uncharacteristically lethargic because of steep price erosion in several major product categories. Strong unit demand is being fueled by new wearable systems, greater automation ...
    Sensor sales soar but ASPs sink
  • SEMI book-to-bill at parity

    The SEMI book-to-bill for June was at parity – the lowest b-to-b ratio of the year. June bookings were $1.71 billion – down 2.1% on May’s 2016 $1.75 billion, but up12.9% on the June 2015 order level of $1.52 billion. June billings were $1.71 billion – up 7% on May’s $1.6 billion, and 10.2% higher ...
    SEMI book-to-bill at parity
  • VC funding up but deals down

    Q2 VC funding moved higher but the number of deals dropped, says a report from KPMG and CB Insights, at the current rate, 2016 deal activity will barely top 2013’s numbers. The reason funding moved higher while deal activity dropped is that some larger startups such as those of Snapchat, Didi Chuxing, and Uber all ...
    VC funding up but deals down

Follow @UKElectronics_ on Twitter!