• 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.
  • This week’s poll: Ford’s car scrappage scheme

    Is the car scrappage scheme announced by Ford to help take more polluting cars off the road a good model to achieve this goal?
    Take Our PollA scheme announced by Ford today offers customers at least £2000 if they trade in any vehicle registered before the end of 2009 with a pre-Euro V standard engine, and joins scrappage schemes announced previously by Vauxhall and BMW. Discounts range up to £7000 off a new Transit van. We would like to know whether readers agree that this model of s
  • Spasers seek and destroy metastasized cancer cells

    Researchers have developed a method of finding and destroying metastasized cancer cells in the blood stream without damaging healthy cells.The nanolaser – dubbed spaser – can be used as an optical probe. When released into the body (possibly through an injection or drinking a solution), it can find circulating tumour cells (CTCs), adhere to them and destroy these cells by breaking them apart to prevent cancer metastases. The spaser is claimed to work by absorbing laser light, which c
  • Last week’s poll: Brexit — benefits of interim customs union

    Engineer readers doubt whether an interim customs union will help industry during the Brexit transition periodNegative opinions overwhelmed positive in last week’s poll on the suggestion that an interim customs union arrangement mimicking the current situation during a transition period towards Brexit would be of benefit to industry. Of the 389 respondents, only 21 per cent chose an option approving of the idea, that it was a practical suggestion that would avoid a cliff-edge. The largest
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  • Think again: how a Degree Apprenticeship can kick-start your career

    Going to uni is a positive life-changing event, but it’s also a route to into engineering that leaves most graduates with a mountain of debt at the start of their careers.
    Degree apprenticeships offer a route into engineering that pays a salary and combines Uni-based teaching with the sort of structured, on-the-job training that can put apprentices ahead of their graduate peers.
    Alex Deakin – a Degree Apprentice at JLR specialising in Supplier Technical Assistance – is set to g
  • Fujitsu looking to sell phone operation

    Fujitsu is finally looking to off-load its mobile phone operation, reports the Nikkei. In February, Fujitsu spun out its cellphone and PC operations into a new company called Ubiquitous Solutions. It is in negotiations with Lenovo for the disposal of the PC element of Ubiquitous Solutions. Now it is said to be receiving interest for ...
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  • Intel improves i5/i7 mobile processors

    Intel has announced new iterations of its i5 and i7 mobile processors which are said to deliver performance increases of ‘up to’ 40%. The new 8th generation i7s run at 1.8 and 1.9GHz and the new i5s at 1.7GHz and 1.6GHz. There will be 145 different flavours. Intel says they will deliver ‘up to’ 10 ...
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  • Japan’s METI looks to help AI chip start-ups and researchers

    Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) is asking for a $90 million budget to fund purchases of software and foundry services by start-up companies and researchers wanting to design and prototype AI chips, reports the Nikkei. METI points out that IC designers typically pay $4.5 million to $9 million to license the software ...
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  • TowerJazz gets go-ahead for Nanjing fab

     TowerJazz has received the first payment of $18 million under its agreement with  Tacoma Technology and Tacoma (Nanjing) Semiconductor Technology which makes binding their earliet agreement to set up an 8-inch fab in Nanjing. The fab will be funded by Tacoma, the Nanjing Economic and Technology Development Zone through its Administration Committee, Credito Capital and other  potential ...
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  • Microsemi joins US SiC and GaN initiative for 1.7 and 3.3kV devices

    Microsemi has joined PowerAmerica, the US public-private initiative to promote the commercialisation of GaN and SiC power semiconductors, and US-based manufacturing. The organisation has $70m backing from the US Department of Energy over five years. The firm’s role at the organisation will be supporting the commercialisation of 1.7 and 3.3kV SiC mosfets and SiC Schottky diodes. “With ...
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  • Inside the Year in Industry programme

     Gennie Dearman is chief operating officer for the Engineering Development Trust (EDT), the organisation that runs the Year in Industry programme for interns looking to get a feel for engineering. 
    The Year in Industry has a good claim to be the original internship programme. Founded 30 years ago, it has been much imitated – to the extent that many university courses for engineers and scientists describe the time with a company that their students take mid-degree as ‘a year
  • Wireless “flexible electronic skin” promises versatile monitoring

    Researchers in South Korea have borrowed from nature to design a super-soft electronic skin patch that transmits data to a mobile phone.
    The system is used in conjunction with a smartphone which provides remote power and processingThe system, which fits onto a silicone disc about 4cm in diameter, is flexible enough to follow the curves of the body and can be stuck just about anywhere, according to its developers at Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology. Team leader Kyung-In Jang, a
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  • Engineering podcast competition aims to change the world

    The winner of the How to change the world engineering podcast competition has been announced, with US student Bethany Gordon taking the top prize.
    A student at the University of Virginia, Bethany’s podcast explored how engineers could collaborate remotely to crowdsource practical solutions to humanitarian crises. It proposed using virtual reality to experience life in a temporary home in a shipping container in rural Armenia, the former Soviet republic that suffered a catastrophic earthqua
  • New dawn for thorium reactor research

    First molten-salt thorium nuclear reactor experiment in over 45 years starts in the Netherlands
    Petten researchers prepare to place the crucibles containing thorium salt into the reactor Credit: Thorium Energy WorldThe first phase of the Salt Irradiation Experiment (SALIENT) has begun at the Nuclear Research and Consultancy Group in Petten, a nuclear research facility on the Dutch North Sea coast. The experiment is being carried out in cooperation with the European Commission Laboratory Joint Re
  • Experts call for international ban on autonomous weapons

    Over 100 roboticists and artificial intelligence experts have called for an international ban on lethal autonomous weapons systems.
    Modular Advanced Armed Robotic SystemThe call – made at the start of the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI 2017) in Melbourne – has been endorsed in a letter signed by the founders of 116 robotics and AI companies who are concerned about their technologies being repurposed to into autonomous weapons.
    The letter, which inclu
  • PC scopes distil data from a million waveforms

    Pico Technology introduces automatic measurement of waveforms on up to a million successive waveform cycles.
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  • Nanowire array to stop soldiers freezing

    US researchers develop nanowire system to heat battledress for cold climate combat
    The US Army wants paratroopers to operate weapons as soon as they land in Arctic conditions Credit: US Army AlaskaWinter has never been the soldier’s friend. In ancient times, wars were only fought between spring and autumn; and in campaigns from Napoleon’s time onwards, the onset of winter has precipitated catastrophic defeat. At this week’s American Chemical Society meeting, researchers from St
  • Laser sheds light on heart attack plaques

    An international team of doctors and scientists has discovered a new laser technique for detecting arterial plaques that cause heart attacks and strokes.The research, carried out at Warwick University’s WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group), Rice University’s Baker Institute, and Monash University in Australia, used near-infrared light to identify the high-risk plaques. By increasing the wavelength of the light currently used to image the fatty build-up found in arteries (atherosclerotic
  • Limiter clamps 100W from 10MHz to 6GHz

    To protect low-noise receivers, Peregrine Semi’s PE45361 power limiter offers 50dBm (100W) pulsed power handling from a surface-mount package, operating from 10MHz to 6GHz. Pulsed in this case is 1% duty cycle  – 10µs pulses in 1ms – in a 50Ω system at 25°C. CW power handling varies around 33-36dBm from ~10MHz to 1GHz, depending on ...
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  • High NAND prices expected to rise

    NAND revenue grew 8% Q2 on Q1, and is expected to increase in Q3. “We expect supply to be under strain for the rest of 2017,” says DRAMeXChange’s Alan Chen, ‘relief will come later in 2018, when the manufacturing of 64- and 72-layer 3D-NAND Flash reaches maturity.” Samsung’s Q2 NAND revenue was up 11.6% to ...
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  • MediaTek selects MIPS for LTE modems

    Imagination's MIPS CPUs are to be deployed in high-volume smartphone modems for the first time after MediaTek adopted the technology for a new processor.
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  • Hynix looking to acquire Toshiba says Korean report.

    Hynix is looking to acquire Toshiba’s memory business, says a study from the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade (KIET) as reported by the Korea JoongAng Daily newspaper. Hynix is part of the INCJ/Bain consortium bidding for Toshiba, but it has always said it was only looking to provide finance. However it did transpire ...
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  • DRAM revenue at record levels

    DRAM revenue hit a record $16.5 billion in Q2 after increasing 16.9% from Q1, reports TrendForce, with the sharp rise attributable o a declining under-supply allowing customers to replenish inventory. PC and server DRAM ASP rose 10% in the quarter while mobile DRAM ASP rose 4% as China smartphone vendors reduced orders on lower-than-expected shipments.   “The ...
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  • UN: Please ban autonomous killing machines

    An open letter signed by 116 founders of robotics and artificial intelligence companies from 26 countries urges the United Nations to ban the use of lethal autonomous weapons internationally. Signatories include: Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, SpaceX and OpenAI (USA) Mustafa Suleyman, founder and head of applied AI at Google’s DeepMind (UK) Esben Østergaard, founder ...
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  • Global tech leaders tell UN: Please ban autonomous killing machines

    An open letter urges the United Nations to ban the use of lethal autonomous weapons internationally.
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  • SMEs encouraged to use Manufacturing Growth Programme

    SMEs are being urged to take advantage of the Manufacturing Growth Programme, a scheme set up to provide specialist assistance to manufacturers.
    Manufacturing Growth ProgrammeOver 1000 SMEs have been given a business boost over the last ten months thanks to the £9.7m business support initiative.
    The Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP), funded by the European Regional Development Fund and delivered by Economic Growth Solutions, has helped companies across the UK to grow, develop new produc
  • Synthetic antifreeze to improve aircraft and transplant safety

    UK chemists and medics mimic natural ice protection mechanism with applications in engineering, medicine and food
    Ice is a constant bugbear to many sectors. Its sharp-edged crystals interfere with the aerodynamics of aircraft, the smooth functioning of aircraft engines and wind turbines, and slice through the delicate cell structures of food and organs awaiting transplant as they are frozen to preserve them. But some animals and microbes that have evolved to live in the frigid regions of the Ear
  • A-Levels: STEM on the rise but teacher crisis deepens

    This year’s A-Levels saw a small jump in the numbers studying STEM subjects, but a shortage of teachers across technical disciplines could threaten these gains in coming years.A total of 41 per cent of total A level entries were in STEM subjects (up slightly from 39 per cent in 2015 and 40 per cent in 2016). For girls, the figure remains static at 35 per cent, while 46 per cent of entries for boys were in STEM. As was widely reported, boys outscored girls in the overall results for the fir
  • Scottish tech firm plans growth and recruitment

    The head of a Scottish tech firm is predicting a period of sustained growth and more highly skilled jobs in the region. John Spence, managing director of Ichor Systems, said the semiconductor manufacturing equipment supplier is planning to expand its Lanarkshire-based activities into new markets in the wider engineering sector. Company turnover is up 15% ...
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  • Imagination secures big smartphone design-in with MediaTek

    Imagination Technologies has secured an important design-in for its MIPS processor technology with MediaTek. Crucially this takes MIPS into high-volume smartphone modems. The mobile phone chipset firm has adopted the multi-threaded MIPS I-class CPU for smartphone LTE modems. The mobile device from MediaTek featuring MIPS technology is the latest MT6799 Helio X30 processor which uses ...
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