Electronics News

Archive : 11 November 2014 year

Hauser calls for long term expansion of Catapult network


Technology entrepreneur Hermann Hauser has called for a long term expansion of the Catapult network he helped to establish four years ago.

In a follow-up review to his original 2010 report, Hauser called on the government to create one or two new elite technology and innovation centres each year, which would lead to 20 by 2020 and 30 by 2030, and a doubling of funding by the end of the decade to £1billion a year. 

In addition to this sustained investment, he also called for more effective engagement with small businesses and a more coherent model for working with universities. 

There are currently seven Catapult centres across the country with another two due to open in 2015. Each one is focused on a specific area of technology with global potential for British businesses. 

"I've been genuinely surprised at the degree of progress made and impressed by the quality of the people and facilities in the emerging network," Hauser said. "The UK is playing catch up with the best innovation systems in the world in translational infrastructure, so I was very encouraged to see how rapidly we are closing the gap." 

Business Secretary Vince Cable said the government would now carefully consider the findings of Hauser's review to ensure the increased investment was financially viable. 

He commented: "Innovation without commercialisation is like a car without an engine.While the Catapult Network has been a success story for British innovation, taking our world-leading capabilities in areas like high value manufacturing and satellite applications to new and promising levels, I want to make sure we are getting enough bang for our buck." 

The full report can be downloaded from the link below.

Laura Hopperton

Source:  www.newelectronics.co.uk

Developer platform offers 85Gflops performance


Non-profit development board community GizmoSphere has announced the availability of the Gizmo 2 DIY platform.

With 85Gflops performance, the open source platform is said to combine the power of a high performance computer with the I/O capabilities of a microcontroller. 

Drawing only 9W, it features an easy to customise, open hardware design and includes the AMD GX-210HA dual core processor, combined on a single die with AMD Radeon HD 8210E discrete class graphics. 

The Gizmo 2 can be used for applications including multi-core engineering, industrial control and automation, gaming systems, digital signage, medical and network appliance, and microcontroller applications. 

It is available now from element14 and includes Linux from Timesys and a coreboot based SageBIOS OSP from Sage Electronic Engineering. 

Laura Hopperton

Source:  www.newelectronics.co.uk

electronica 2014: Infineon has embedded power modules for intelligent motor control


Infineon has taken the wraps off a new ARM based embedded power family at the electronica trade fair in Munich.

The automotive qualified bridge drivers are said to deliver 32bit performance in an application space typically associated with 16bit. They have been developed to address the growing trend towards intelligent motor control in automotive applications. 

Key features include a microcontroller, ARM Cortex-M3 processor, non volatile memory, analogue/mixed signal peripherals, communication interfaces and MOSFET gate drivers. 

Infineon's Andreas Doll said: "Smart motor control applications demand a large variety of sophisticated motor control schemes that are driven by energy efficiency, system cost reduction and comfort needs. 

"Fostering the SoC approach that combines a powerful microcontroller, the MOSFET gate drivers along with all necessary sense, control and actuate functions, our scalable embedded power family makes automotive system suppliers benefit from reduced system costs, improved reliability and less system level complexity." 

Both the TLE987x and the TLE986x families are available now. The devices come in a standard QFN package measuring 7 x 7mm.

Laura Hopperton

Source:  www.newelectronics.co.uk

Ambiq Micro secures $15m for SPOT power platform


Texas based power electronics firm Ambiq Micro has closed a $15million Series C funding round to accelerate the development of its SPOT (subthreshold power optimised technology) platform.

The funding round was led by Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), and supported by existing investors, including ARM Holdings. 

Ambiq's proprietary SPOT platform is optimised to reduce the energy consumption of semiconductors by lowering the voltage level at which switching occurs inside the chips. 

The company already manufactures and markets real time clocks using this technology and a microcontroller family, manufactured using the same standard CMOS process, will be announced within the next few weeks. 

Ambiq's CEO and president Mark Foley commented: "We're very privileged to welcome KPCB as both an investor and partner for growth. 

"We're also delighted that our earlier investors decided to participate in the new funding round, reinforcing our belief that our SPOT platform is going to redefine the meaning of 'ultra low power' in the electronics industry at a time when there is a global explosion in demand for small, battery powered products."

Laura Hopperton

Source:  www.newelectronics.co.uk

Plessey expands LED capability, moves into packaging


Looking to bolster its existing solid state lighting business, Plessey has announced its expansion into chip scale packages and wafer level packaging.

"Our most recent advancements in performance to greater than 50% wall plug efficiency coupled with our unique semiconductor technologies and manufacturing capabilities have pushed us to our next stage of technology development," said the company's CTO Dr Keith Strickland. 

The Plymouth-based firm has developed an application specific LED, called the AS-LED, which it says will satisfy the solid state lighting industry's need for mass customisation.The solution will be available for sampling later this year. 

Dr Strickland continued: "We need to move the conversation from lumens/watt to how the semiconductor industry can provide the capability for mass customisation needed for the solid state lighting industry. 

"Our LED components are more than competitive with any sapphire or silicon carbide solution, but the industry needs far more. We believe our AS-LED provides the solution to the mass customisation needed in the solid state lighting markets."

Laura Hopperton

Source:  www.newelectronics.co.uk

Southampton joins with Singapore for $100m Photonics Institute


Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore has established the Photonics Institute, developed from a partnership between NTU and the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) at the University of Southampton.

The $100m Photonics Institute will comprise five research centres, addressing: optical fibre technology; disruptive photonic technologies; semiconductor lighting and displays; optical and laser engineering; and a photonics centre of excellence. 

The Institute, which will house 120 scientists, is being directed by NTU professors Tjin Swee Chuan and Nikolay Zheludev, and ORC director Professor Sir David Payne, pictured left with Singapore's Minister of State Teo Ser Luck.

Graham Pitcher

Source:  www.newelectronics.co.uk

Oxis claims 300Whr/kg for Li-S


Battery specialist Oxis Energy says it has achieved an energy density of 300Whr/kg for lithium sulphur cells and adds that it has increased cell capacity to 25Ahr, which it describes as 'a world first'.

The cell capacity of 25Ahr is said to represent a twelve fold improvement in 18 months and Oxis believes it will be able to make a 33Ahr cell by the middle of 2015 and reach an energy density of 400Whr/kg by the end of 2016.

Graham Pitcher

Source:  www.newelectronics.co.uk

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