Electronics News

Archive : 17 November 2014 year

Marvell taps 64bit technology for smartphone SoCs


Marvell has launched an SoC featuring eight Cortex-A53 cores. Called the PXA1936 and running at 1.5GHz, the device is targeted at high performance smartphones and tablets and supports TD-LTE, FDD-LTE, TD-SCDMA, WCDMA and GSM communications. 

"4G LTE is such a critical technology to enable mobile computing, social networking, cloud gaming and other data intensive applications that are part of our daily lives," said Weili Dai, Marvell's president. "I believe the PXA1936 delivers best in class five-mode 4G LTE connectivity and industry leading processing, security, graphics and sensor fusion capabilities." 

The device, part of Marvell's ARMADA range, includes advanced graphics and security functions, high performance image processing and sensor fusion capabilities. There is support for 1080p graphics and cameras with up to 16Mpixel. 

The company has also launched the PXA1908, a cost optimised device with four Cortex-A53 cores running at up to 1.2GHz. Aimed at the rapidly growing LTE market, there is support for cameras of up to 13Mpixel, as well as 720p graphics. 

Both devices are expected to enable developers to launch 64bit phones and tablets running the Android L operating system. 

Graham Pitcher

Source:  www.newelectronics.co.uk

T-shirt printer used to create flexible electronic circuits


Nanyang Technological University in Singapore (NTU) says academics have successfully printed complex electronic circuits using a common t-shirt printer. Amongst the circuits created using the approach are a 4bit D/A converter and RFID tags. 

Common electronic devices, including resistors, transistors and capacitors, have been created by printing materials such as silver nanoparticles and carbon on flexible substrates such as plastic, aluminium foil and paper. 

Associate Professor Joseph Chang believes this approach could enable mass production of cheap disposable electronic circuits. "This means we can have smarter products, such as a carton that tells you exactly when the milk expires, a bandage that prompts you when it is time for a redressing, and smart patches that can monitor life signals like your heart rate. 

"We are not competing with high end processors, like those found in smartphones and electronic devices. Instead, we complement them with cheaply printed circuits, making disposable electronics a reality." 

Prof Chang's approach – said to be fully additive – enables circuits to be created without the use of toxic chemicals.

Graham Pitcher

Source:  www.newelectronics.co.uk

Bosch supplies ‘virtual cockpit’ for latest Audi TT


In the new Audi TT, instrument, navigation and multimedia information is bundled in the driver's field of vision. The concept, called the 'Virtual Cockpit', has been supplied by Bosch. 

The 12.3in high contrast TFT display – which has cropped corners – has a resolution of 1440 x 540 pixels and a colour depth of 24bit. Two basic modes are available. In the traditional mode, large, digitally produced round gauges are displayed. In the second mode, the smaller speedometer and tachometer are moved to the lower corners of the display, leaving room for other information to be shown. 

The display's graphics module can also support three dimensional display of objects. For example, round gauges feature shadows that make them appear to be 'real'. 

The instrument cluster is connected to car electronics via CAN and MOST buses.

Graham Pitcher

Source:  www.newelectronics.co.uk

EU semi sales on track for a healthy 2014


The latest figures from DMASS, the Distributors' and Manufacturers' Association of Semiconductor Specialists, show sales of semiconductors through distribution channels grew by 7.3% in Q3 to €1.57billion, with growth in most major regions.

DMASS chairman Georg Steinberger commented: "We were happy to see Q3 turning out better than expected. The 7.3% rise has set us on a growth course for 2014 of 6 to 7%, which is remarkable after the two year spluttering of 2012 and 2013. 

"The results were positive across the regional board, with some selected negative exceptions. In the first nine months, DMASS members reported semiconductor distribution sales of almost €4.8bn." 

Regionally, only Nordic, Benelux and Switzerland came in negatively in Q3, with France and Italy both reporting positive although under proportional growth. 

On the plus side, Turkey, Russia, the UK, Iberia, Austria, Israel and Germany showed above average sales increases. Over 9 months the regional split of DMASS shows a share of 32% for Germany, 9.8% for Italy, 8.5% for the UK, 7.7% for France, 9% for Nordic and 11.2% for Eastern Europe. 

Steinberger continued: "No big surprises occurred over the last nine months, apart from: Nordic lost more ground in its manufacturing base, losing electronics production to Eastern Europe or Asia. In general, considering the macro-economic environment for Europe at the moment, the outlook for 2015 is only moderate. 

"However, Europeans tend to see glass half full far too often for my taste. Let us be hopeful that 2015 will have some positive surprises for our industry."

Laura Hopperton

Source:  www.newelectronics.co.uk

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