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Showing posts for May 2016

24 May 2016

Google, IBM make breakthroughs

Earlier this week, Google released details of its Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), something that they believe could slingshot the technological capabilities well beyond the timescales laid out in Moore’s Law.

“We started a stealthy project at Google several years ago to see what we could accomplish with our own custom accelerators for machine learning applications,” the technology giants stated in a blog post.

“We’ve been running TPUs inside our data centres for more than a year, and have found them to deliver an order of magnitude better-optimised performance per watt for machine learning. This is roughly equivalent to fast-forwarding technology about seven years into the future.”

Whilst Google was announcing the details its own supercharged processing powers, IBM was briefing about its own revolutionary advancements in the world of Phase-change memory (PCM).

Prior to IBM’s breakthrough, the conventional thinking indicated that PCM could only hold one bit per cell. However, the American technology group has recently found a way to increase that capacity to three bits per cell, with the result being Triple Level Cell Phase-change memory (TLC PCM).

In comparison, standard flash devices can only hold two bits per cell.

“Reaching three bits per cell is a significant milestone,” explained Haris Pozidis, referencing the cheaper cost of production compared to comparable forms of three-bit memory.

“Assuming we can license the technology in a relatively short time-frame,” Pozidis continued, “TLC PCM can be available as early as next year.”

12 May 2016

Renesas to Reach Pre-Earthquake Production by May 22


Many businesses based in the Kumamoto Prefecture of Japan remain in recovery mode, attempting to rebuild infrastructure and facilities in the wake of the earthquakes that hit the region last month.

However, Renesas, one of the world’s leading manufacturer of electronic components, is targeting to “restore pre-earthquake production” capacities by the end of the month.

Although its main facility in the area, the Kawashiri Factory, was damaged in the 7MW earthquake, the company was able to resume partial production on key lines only a few days removed from the event.

At the time, a spokesperson said, “Renesas, in accordance with the BCP aims to resume productions of other remaining processes step by step to reach full pre-earthquake production capacity at an earliest possible date.”

A press release, published on Monday (May 10th), announced that the Japanese electronics giants would be resuming full production within the next ten days.

“While the chance of aftershocks to occur remains unpredictable, we confirmed that there is no current issue under consideration that would impede recovery further. Under these circumstances, we expect to be able to restore full pre-earthquake production capacity (wafer input capacity) targeting May 22nd.”

However, issues remain away from Renesas’ Kawashiri Factory.

The firm relies on a number of subcontractors to produce certain parts and although production has resumed at all of its external plants, some additional damage has been reported, holding back efforts to meet pre-earthquake capabilities.

Finally, the company announced that it has made a donation of ten million yen to the relief effort in the region.

“Renesas deeply hopes for an earliest possible recovery of the areas impacted by the disaster,” a press release said.

11 May 2016

electronica Expands to 13 Halls


Thirteen is unlucky for some, but not for electronica, the leading international trade show for electronic components, systems and application.

Now in its fifty-second year, the biannual event at Munich’s Messe Munchen exhibition centre attracts attendees and businesses from around the globe to the Bavarian capital.

And to deal with demand, organisers have decided to expand. In order to accommodate more trade stands and, crucially, more visitors, this year’s event (November 8-11th) will now occupy thirteen halls.

Commenting on the decision, Angela Marten, electronica’s Exhibition Director, said, “electronica is taking the needs of the industry into account.

“Adding another hall to electronica gives exhibitors an opportunity to increase the size of their stands and allows us to include new [partners].”

Due to the trade fair’s expansion, traditional hall assignments have been altered somewhat. Areas reserved for PCBs, circuit carriers and EMS companies will now be spread over two halls (B4 and C4), and will be located directly next to the venue’s north entrance. Power Supplies will be given centre stage in halls A2 and A3 while Electromechanics/System Periphery will now be spread across four halls.

Fortunately, Cyclops Electronics will remain where we have been for the past ten years: Stand 179, Hall A5. 

To book your meeting with the Cyclops Group, email us today at

As well as increasing in size, the organisers have unveiled plans for an Embedded Platform Village and the electronica Start-up Platform, both of which will be located near to the east entrance.

Embedded Platform Village

This brand new area is designed to highlight the embedded sector and its main draw will be the Embedded Platforms Conference, which is due to be held on November 9th and 10th.

Electronica Start-up Platform

Organised in conjunction with the magazine Elektor, the platform will provide start-up businesses with the opportunity to meet with potential investors.

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