Electronics News

Archive : 16 July 2015 year

Digi-Key and ARM University Programme offer 'Lab-in-a-Box' worldwide


Digi-Key has announced their partnership with the ARM University Programme to distribute 'Lab-in-a-Box' (LiB) to higher educational institutions around the globe.

The LiB contains ARM-based technology and high quality, rigorous training materials that support electronics and computer engineering courses. Since its launch in February 2014, ARM LiBs have been successfully deployed in hundreds of universities worldwide, enabling a migration path for academics wanting to upgrade their existing curricula to state-of-the-art technologies from the vast ARM eco-system.

The Lab-in-a-Box package includes hardware development boards, professional software licenses from ARM, and complete teaching materials from the ARM University Programme ready to be deployed in classes. These include lecture note slides, demonstration codes, lab manuals and projects with solutions in source.

"This is an important initiative for the ARM University Program as it offers convenient access to the hardware components that go hand in hand with our teaching materials," Khaled Benkrid, manager of ARM's Worldwide University Program, said. "This is integral to our mission of equipping tomorrow's engineers with the necessary tools to drive the creation of exciting and intelligent products that transform society."

The Programme provides a variety of teaching materials, hardware platforms, software development tools, IP, and other resources for many academic courses including efficient embedded systems design and programming, SoC design, operating system design, and digital signal processing. Other Programme initiatives include Professor Workshops, online teaching/training videos, design contest sponsorships and research support.

"We are delighted for the opportunity to work with ARM to bring Lab-in-a-Box to Digi-Key's academic customers and future engineers around the globe," said Bob Brown, director of Academic Business Development at Digi-Key. "This initiative will benefit university professors and students in their journey to design and create technologies that will significantly impact our connected world."

The first hardware kit available from Digi-Key is for the 'Rapid Embedded System Design and Programming' LiB, which includes the ARM Cortex-M4, based STMicroelectronics NUCLEO-F401RE microcontroller board. The corresponding teaching materials and software tools can be requested from the ARM University Program website.

Pic: STMicroelectronics NUCLEO-F401RE microcontroller board

Tom Austin-Morgan

Source:  www.newelectronics.co.uk

Open HPAC Lab launched for software development


IDT has launched an Open High-Performance Analytics and Computing (HPAC) Lab to address the needs of enterprise and cloud computing end users. The lab supports heterogeneous processing technologies from CPU and accelerator vendors who are connecting their hardware with IDT's portfolio of RapidIO and PCIe interconnect semiconductors, advanced timing and memory interface products.

Based at IDT's facility in Ottawa, Canada, the Open HPAC Lab runs on a contribution model. It has been seeded by IDT and partner companies to enable end users to develop application software for analytics and high-performance computing requiring a variety of processor types with low latency, high throughput and energy efficiency. Target applications for the lab workload include real-time analytics, deep learning, pattern recognition, video analytics and image processing.

"As analytics of large amounts of unstructured data become more important in the hyperscale cloud data centre, the need for using accelerators such as GPUs and FPGAs in conjunction with processors is paramount, and low-latency interconnect is key to keeping up with the workload in distributed multi-processor systems," said Sailesh Chittipeddi, IDT's chief technology officer and vice president of Global Operations. "We kicked off the Open HPAC Lab to provide an area of collaboration for those requiring the low latency and energy efficiency that RapidIO interconnect delivers."

The technology at the centre of the lab was used for analysing the content of Twitter traffic during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Finals, and was recently adopted by CERN for its Large Hadron Collider and data centre analytics. The lab is based on industry-standard IT form factor solutions that align with the Open Compute Project HPC initiative, which IDT co-chairs.

Pic: The Open HPAC Lab is located within IDT’s corporate offices in Ottawa.

Tom Austin-Morgan

Source:  www.newelectronics.co.uk

Nanowires can be 'building blocks' for range of electronic devices, says research team


An international collaboration led by the University of Cambridge and IBM has developed a method that allows combinations of different materials to be grown in a nanowire, providing what the team calls 'a useful building block' for electrical, optical and energy harvesting devices.

"The key to building functional nanoscale devices is to control materials and their interfaces at the atomic level," said Dr Stephan Hofmann of the Department of Engineering. "We've developed a method of engineering inclusions of different materials so that we can make complex structures in a very precise way."

The technique developed by Dr Hofmann's team builds on the vapour-liquid-solid (VLS) approach used currently. In VLS, a catalytic droplet seeds and feeds the nanowire, allowing it to assemble by one atomic layer at a time. VLS, says the team, brings a high degree of control over such factors as composition, diameter and structure. With the new approach, the catalytic droplet is not only used to grow the nanowire, but also to form new materials within it.

Using customised electron microscopes at IBM's TJ Watson Research Center and at Brookhaven National Laboratory, the researchers found that using the catalyst as a 'mixing bowl', with the order and amount of each ingredient programmed into a desired recipe, allowed the creation of nanowires with embedded nanoscale crystals – or quantum dots – of controlled size and position.

"The technique allows two different materials to be incorporated into the same nanowire, even if the lattice structures of the two crystals don't perfectly match," said Dr Hofmann. "It's a flexible platform that can be used for different technologies."

According to the researchers, possible applications for this technique range from atomically perfect buried interconnects to semiconductor lasers. The team also believes the process will allow 3D structures to be engineered.

Pic: A nickel silicide nanoparticle (coloured yellow) forming inside in a silicon nanowire. Credit: Stephan Hofmann

Graham Pitcher

Source:  www.newelectronics.co.uk

Nano patterning programme aims to spread applications beyond semiconductors


Looking to demonstrate the benefits of nano-patterning technology and spread its use beyond semiconductors, CEA-Leti and EV Group have launched the INSPIRE programme.

"Leti and EVG have a long history of collaborating on ways to bring new technologies to market at reasonable costs for the benefits of our customers," said Laurent Pain, patterning programme manager in Leti's silicon technologies division. "Through INSPIRE, we will develop new ways for them to use nano-patterning technology to create new products for a wide range of applications."

In addition to creating an industrial partnership to develop nano imprinting process solutions, INSPIRE is intended to demonstrate cost of ownership benefits for a range of applications, such as photonics, plasmonics, lighting, photovoltaics, wafer level optics and bio-technology.

Leti and EVG will jointly support the development of new applications from the feasibility study stage to supporting the first manufacturing steps. The partners say they will also transfer integrated process solutions to their customers, thus lowering the entry barrier for adoption of the technology.

"EVG is excited about the value that the partnership with Leti in the INSPIRE programme will provide to industry," said Markus Wimplinger, corporate technology development and IP director at EV Group. "After more than a decade of research and development activities, EVG has propelled nano imprint technology to a level of maturity that enables significant advantages for certain applications compared to traditional optical lithography."

Pic: A diffractive optical element created using nano imprint technology 

Graham Pitcher

Source:  www.newelectronics.co.uk

Research may open the doors to terahertz graphene transistors


Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz have discovered that electrical conduction in graphene is governed by the same basic laws that describe the thermal properties of gases. The team says this much simpler thermodynamic approach to the electrical conduction will allow scientists to better understand how graphene based devices work, but also to improve their performance. In particular, the work is said show the way for graphene transistors to run at terahertz frequencies.

The researchers found that the energy of ultrafast electrical currents passing through graphene is very efficiently converted into electron heat, making graphene electrons behave just like a hot gas. "The heat is distributed evenly over all electrons. And the rise in electronic temperature, caused by the passing currents, in turn has a strong effect on the electrical conduction of graphene," said Professor Mischa Bonn, MPI-P's director.

"The results of this study will help improve the performance of graphene based nanoelectronic devices, such as ultra high speed transistors and photodetectors," said Professor Dmitry Turchinovich, who led the research.

Pic: Image: Zoltan Mics / MPIP

Graham Pitcher

Source:  www.newelectronics.co.uk

TNMOC receives £50,000 donation from Ensoft


Ensoft has donated £50,000 to The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC), which will be used to assist in the Museum's development.

Tim Reynolds, chairman of TNMOC, said: "Recognition of TNMOC's achievements by a company as dynamic as Ensoft is a great boost to our work and underlines the educational value of computing history to inspire future generations of computer scientists and engineers."

Impressed by seeing so many early machines still in action at TNMOC, Ensoft is keen that as many people as possible can benefit from the experience of coding an early generation computer. Part of the new donation will be used to create and develop emulators that students on the TNMOC Learning Programme can use after their visit.

"There's a great deal of excitement in the technology industry in Britain, and it's critical to inspire young people to thrive confidently in the digital future," John Cooper, Ensoft's chairman, said. "TNMOC's unparalleled resource of working machines communicates uniquely how pivotal the UK has been in the evolution of computing so far, and helps to motivate the next generation to create the future boldly. Indeed, our own employees have gained great inspiration from visiting, and we would encourage every technology company to visit and support the development of TNMOC."

Tom Austin-Morgan

Source:  www.newelectronics.co.uk

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