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Showing posts for January 2015


13 January 2015

CES 2015 Semiconductor Round Up

Lots of really interesting and innovative things have come out of CES 2015, particularly in regards to new semiconductor releases. Here's a quick round up of some of the big chip releases:

Intel

Broadwell 5th Generation

This is the 5th Generation 14nm Broadwell Y Dual core which has been highly anticipated for some time now, but the results don't disappoint! It will increase battery life by up to 1.5 hours, will run faster and is more energy efficient than previous generation models. The die size has shrunken 37% and can fit 35 more transistors than other Intel chips.

The Broadwell 5th Gen chips should be ready to ship later this month and are ideal for the 2in1 laptop and tablet devices which are increasing in popularity. Intel are also expanding their Pentium and Celeron CPU ranges and further foraying into the wearable device world with Fossil and Oakley.

ON Semiconductor

3D Sensors

ON Semiconductor have been working with 3D stacking technology to create better 3D image sensors. Using stacking technology gives a smaller die and means each part of the sensor can be optimised, so they have improved pixel performance and better power consumption.

“3D stacking technology is an exciting breakthrough that enhances our ability to optimize ON Semiconductor’s future sensors,” said Sandor Barna, vice president of Technology for ON Semiconductor’s Image Sensor Group. “This technology provides manufacturing and design flexibility to ensure continued performance leadership across our entire sensor product portfolio.”

Nvidia

Super Chip

The Tegra X1 Superchip packs a humongous 1 Teraflop of processing power into a device the size of a thumbnail and uses under 10 watts of power. The Tegra X1 is twice as powerful as Nvidia's previous superchip, the Tegra K1, rendering 4k at 60Hz. This superchip should begin appearing in the first half of the year and has been designed for use in

Tegra X1's technical specifications include:

  • 256 core Maxwell GPU
  • 8CPU cores
  • 60 fps 4K video (H.265, H.264, VP9)
  • 1.3 gigapixel of camera throughput
  • 20nm process

NXP

Passive Keyless Entry

The NCF29A1 is primarily being used for Passive Keyless Entry for cars, It is a radio frequency transmitter and immobilizer in one. This chip can allow for extra features to be added to car remote keys such as auto locking when walking away from the vehicle and even a welcome light when approaching!

The NCF29A1 has longer ranger, lower power consumption, 40% longer battery life and 70% smaller form factor than previous chips. This smaller size and better battery life means PKE can be built into smartphones and wearable tech so you never have to worry about losing your car keys again!

Texas Instruments

Voice Control

Texas Instruments are working with Comcast on their Xfinity remote control, which uses TI's voice-over-RF4CE™ ZigBee® remote control technology to allow voice control to search for channels, shows and set DVR Recordings. No more pushing buttons and endlessly searching for what you want to watch – just say what you are looking for and it will appear on screen as if by magic!

You can purchase a huge range of semiconductors from Cyclops Electronics. Currently we have 144, 576 stocked line items and have access to over 600,000,000 more! Use our Fast Component Search to find the parts you need then call or email to place your order.

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Tags: broadwell ces 2015 intel nvidia nxp on semiconductor semiconductor industry texas instruments


13 January 2015

Can a robot cheetah save the world?

A robot which can run at speeds of more than 10 mph, jump almost 16 inches high, land safely and continue galloping for at least 15 minutes — all while using less power than a microwave oven has been unveiled by engineers at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

The robot, inspired by a cheetah, is hoped to have real world applications including prosthetic limbs, wearable technologies, all-terrain wheelchairs and vehicles that can travel efficiently in rough terrain. 

The team have had to create most of the components from scratch including motors, sensors and an on board computer. They have even created an algorithm which calculates how much energy should be exerted by each leg whilst running! 

"This is kind of a Ferrari in the robotics world, like, we have to put all the expensive components and make it really that instinctive," said MIT Professor Sangbae Kim, Head of the school's Biomimetic Robotics Lab. "That's the only way to get that speed."

Watching the video of the robot in action, you can really see the cat-like movements of the robot. To say it weighs 70 pounds, the robot moves smoothly compared to other robotic devices and it is really possible to see how this technology could be used to enhance and even save lives. It is hoped this type of robot could be used in search and rescue operations or in hostile environments where it is too dangerous to send humans in.

The team still have some way to go in perfecting the technology but have come a long way in the last 5 years. “In the next 10 years, our goal is we are trying to make this robot to save a life," Kim said.

A worthy aim and we wish them all the best in achieving it.

For the latest industry news and new technologies, follow Cyclops on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+
Sources:
MIT
CNS News

Tags: electronic components mit robotics


13 January 2015

Ready to experience a brand new kind of phone? Meet Google's Project ARA.

You begin with an endoskeleton, or 'Endo' as Google are affectionately calling it, which forms the basis of your phone and then add 'modules' which alter or add to the phone's functionality. Think of the ARA a little like a Lego phone, different bits snap in and out to make the phone whatever you want it to be.

Going on holiday? Get a great camera just by adding a new module. Into gaming? Add a faster processor while playing. Make music the centre of your world with super speakers or use medical sensors to keep a check on your health.

 And the best part is you don't have to sacrifice one thing for another. Just a few clicks and swops and your super powerful gamer phone can transform into a lightweight, speedy phone perfect for the office. Or change the size by using different endos – have a tiny phone on Saturday night in your pocket or clutch bag and then make the same phone into a phablet for work on Monday morning!

The modules can also be shared by anyone else with an ARA phone – no need to upgrade every couple of years, upgrade constantly with modules that deliver what you need, when you need it.

This concept for phones, if it catches on (and let's face it, with Google behind it, it probably will catch on!) would be great news for electronic component companies. Rather than just needing a few components to make up the phone, every module will be made up of them. With the aim being that people own more modules than can be used at once, more electronic components will be needed than on a standard smartphone. More components is always a good thing for our industry!

Tags: google project ara


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