Showing posts for August 2015
25 August 2015
Vishay Shuts Down Manufacturing Facility
Vishay Intertechnology, one of the world's largest manufacturers of discrete semiconductors and passive components, has reported a temporary production shutdown on its Tianjin manufacturing facility. The manufacturing facility provides back-end packaging for some diode product lines.
Following the explosion the shockwaves resulted in broken windows and minor damage to exterior walls of the Vishay facility. Minor injuries to some employees were also reported but they are thankful that nobody was seriously hurt. Early indications, from Chinese officials, announce that the air quality in the area is 'acceptable', and Vishay expects to be able to bring the facility back into full production within the next few weeks, as it wants to maintain its focus on quality.
Vishay wishes to extend its heartfelt condolences to the Chinese people regarding the explosion which occurred on August 12, 2015 in the port of Tianjin.
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20 August 2015
New Tech from IDF 2015
The Intel Developer Forum is taking place as we speak where all the latest tech development from Intel is announced. The tech glitterati have descended on San Francisco to hear all the announcements from CEO Brian Krzanich and pals.
The latest announcements include wearables, safety tech, cooking and even robotic spiders!
This is a real breakthrough for the world of wearables. It is a piece of super small tech that fits on a solution the size of a button! Inside is the Intel Quark system which is able to integrate the power of a full sized computer into a single chip. Thanks to its tiny, yet powerful properties it can be integrated into a range of wearables including jewellery, clothing, keyrings and even actual buttons. The little device even has a motion sensor, Bluetooth, radio and battery charging capabilities – don’t be fooled by the tiny size, this thing can pack a punch!
These were used to demonstrate the way the Curie module works, in particular the gesture recognition technology. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich had the Curie attached to a bracelet and by moving his arm was able to make the spiderbots move and change colour of their LEDs. It works by having an accelerometer and gyroscope connected which detects arm movements to allow you to unleash your spiderbot army!
Fossil Android Watch –
There is still not much been released about the Fossil watch powered by Intel, first announced last year, we now know what it will potentially look like but the actual full spec of the watch is still a mystery. They are ‘traditional’ looking watches with leather straps and a silver metallic finish. Demonstrated was a watch with a round tire face featuring an LCD screen. There were generic functions shown such as step counters and message accessibility but anything else wasn’t up for show. All we were told is that it will come in a few different colour combinations and be released in time for the holiday. Guess we’ll have to wait for Santa to bring us one to find out the full spec!
Home Cooking –
Anyone who keeps up to date with Masterchef will be familiar with the concept of sous vide cooking as it is de rigeour for top chefs. The process involves vacuum sealing food then cooking it in a water bath so the food slowly reaches the temperature of the water, never exceeding it. Intel have been working with Anova Culinary and Nomiko to create household versions called immersion circulators for all the next Michel Roux Jrs out there!!
19 August 2015
Struggling with Obsolete Components?
Working in the purchasing or planning department, you know how to plan for production runs and product roll outs. In fact, you bought enough stock for your projected production run - everything was planned out perfectly and you thought you could relax. Until sales of your product start going through the roof and blowing all expectations out of the water. This is great news for the business; bosses are happy, customers are happy, even the shareholders are happy!
But now there's a problem - those components you carefully ordered and planned for are now obsolete - what do you do? You could chase around for hours, even days, just trying to track down the parts needed, coming up with nothing but dead ends and wrong part numbers. Or you could sit back and relax knowing everything has been taken care of. Which sounds better?
If you contact Cyclops with your requirements, our highly trained and specialist team will source everything for you - quickly and efficiently. As specialists in sourcing obsolete and hard to find components, and with global reach across the industry, you won't be left waiting for long. With Cyclops Electronics on your side, your production run doesn't need to be disrupted and the great sales and good fortune can continue!
Send your RFQ in now using the box on the right or call our team on +44 (0)1904 415 415
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14 August 2015
Intel and Samsung - Who's winning?
Are Intel’s days at the top coming to an end?
Distance has dropped between Samsung and Intel in the official semiconductor figure results from IC Insights– in the 2nd quarter
Samsung have risen 10% between Q1 and Q2 2015 to a rather impressive $10.3 billion. Intel are only up 3% to $11.9 billion so the race is on to see if Intel can keep holding onto that top spot.
Samsung have managed to move to DRAM and NAND Flash which are more readily used in smartphones. The rapid and increasing growth of the smartphone market, particularly in emerging markets, means Samsung made a very smart decision in choosing to focus on memory chips. Intel, on the other hand, has remained focused on PC/laptops which is why their own growth is quite limited this quarter.
Although Intel and Samsung have had rises in the last quarter, the rest of the top 5 have declined. Particularly significant is
Qualcomm’s decline of 13% and is looking at posting a semiconductor sales decline of 20% in the 2015 calendar year. They are still at number 5 on the Q214 rankings but it isn’t looking great for this American company.
As well as the 10% rise this quarter, Samsung have also posted a record high in their quarterly chip sales of 11.29 trillion won. The rest of the top 20 aren’t really a surprise – and it did take over $2.2 billion in sales just to get into the top 20!
10 August 2015
Mirror Mirror on the wall who’s the healthiest one of all....
A magic mirror could exist out of the world of Fairy Tales with the power to tell you how healthy you are. Okay, so maybe it’s not quite magic, rather a combination of sophisticated sensors, cameras and scanners which have been put together by a group of scientists from across Europe.
The Wize Mirror will be able to check for signs of stress and anxiety, look for weight loss or weight gain and even utilise gas sensors to take breath samples to show how much you have been smoking and drinking. There are also multispectral cameras to estimate heart rate and haemoglobin levels.
The mirror will then give you an on screen daily health score and personalised advice on how to improve your health. This is a great example of how healthcare and technology can come together in such a simple idea to help improve health and well being.
Developed by a consortium of researchers and industry partners from across 7 EU countries, the Wize Mirror is to be used as a preventative device to reduce metabolic and cardiovascular related diseases. Clinical trials are due to begin next year!
05 August 2015
Cardiff leads innovation
Cardiff University set to become leader in compound semiconductors
California isn’t the only place where tech research and advances take place, it happens right here in the UK too! Looking to become a centre for excellence in compound semiconductors, Cardiff University has teamed up with IQE, the semiconductor wafer foundry.
The joint venture will create a centre of excellence to drive testing and development of compound semiconductors. The combination of Cardiff University’s Institute of Compound Semiconductors and IQE’s foundry in Cardiff places Wales as a dynamic force in compound semiconductors. These particular semiconductors can be found in all areas of technology including smartphones, laptops, biotech and communications.
This partnership comes on top of the UK government’s £17.3 million award to underpin the CS Research Foundation. The university has also recently taken on Professor Diana Huffaker as Chair in Advanced Engineering & Materials. Based at UCLA, Professor Huffaker will lead the new CS lab at Cardiff University.
With more research facilities and partnerships like this, the UK can become a global force in semiconductor development. This is only a good thing which will lead to better products and better technology.
03 August 2015
Google's Project Ara
How will Google's Project Ara change the way components are used in smartphones?
Google have been working on the phone to change all phones. A new concept of modular phones which allow you to precisely tailor your phone – both aesthetically and functionally.
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!
So, what is the 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.
With an August launch date rumoured hopefully we won't have to wait much longer to see if the modular smartphone really is the future.
An earlier version of this article appeared in November - edited to reflect updated information
Enter Electronic Component part number below.