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Front End I News

NI and the University of Edinburgh collaborate on MIMO technique

National Instruments and the University of Edinburgh are partnering to develop a test bed to dramatically improve indoor wireless communications capacity. Professor Harald Haas, the lead researcher at Edinburgh, has pioneered a next-generation massive multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) technique, referred to as spatial modulation, to power a highly energy efficient capacity increase in what is being seen as a significant step on the path toward fifth-generation (5G) wireless communications. Haas and Professor Cheng-Xiang Wang, head of the Advanced Wireless Technologies Lab at Heriot-Watt University, recently used NI’s PXI Express hardware and LabVIEW system design software to create a working prototype showing spatial modulation techniques over a wireless RF channel.

Haas has demonstrated a concept, better known as LiFi, using visible light communication over a single-channel, point-to-point link. He now plans to combine these technologies to create even higher density optical wireless networks— called optical attocell networks—that will harness massive MIMO gains in both the optical and RF domains for energy-efficient indoor wireless communications. “We’ve known for a long time that

decreasing cell size can significantly increase cellular capacity and user data

ARM buys Geomerics: ARM has acquired Geomerics, a market leader involved in lighting technology for the gaming and entertainment industries. The move strengthens ARM’s position in the visual computing and graphics industries. “The innovative technologies being developed by Geomerics are already revolutionising the console gaming experience and are set to rapidly accelerate the transition to photo realistic graphics in mobile,” said Pete Hutton, EVP and GM Media Processing Division, ARM. “Empowering Geomerics’ portfolio with ARM’s graphics capabilities and market reach will be transformative for the user experiences in future mobile and entertainment devices.”

rates, but it’s not been clear how we could facilitate that given current spectrum, energy and interference limitations,” said Haas. “RF wireless and optical wireless networks that work together using spatial modulation and massive MIMO approaches could allow us to effectively mitigate interference and significantly increase energy efficiency, coverage and capacity using existing infrastructure.” As a result of Haas’ work a new research

centre has been opened at the University of Edinburgh to develop and promote faster and more reliable internet connection using this light-based communication technology.

Zuken announces first EDM system for electrical and fluid design

Zuken, a supplier of software and consulting services for electrical and electronic design and manufacturing, has introduced the first data management solution that has been specifically

Software’s CIM DATABASE EDM platform to provide data and process management integrated into E3.series for wire, harness, cable, control system and fluid design.

There is growing concern that the demand for wireless internet access driven in no small part by smartphone technology is in danger of overloading the amount that can currently be supplied by Wi-Fi. Commenting Professor Lesley Yellowlees, Head of the University of Edinburgh's College of Science and Engineering, said: 'The University of Edinburgh has a strong track record in communications research and providing industry solutions to this sector. This new R&D centre in Edinburgh is a unique opportunity for the UK to lead the global development of Li-Fi technology.'

design processes in key areas. Electrical and fluid design have specific

requirements for data and process management that don’t tend to be covered by existing engineering IT solutions. E3.EDM looks to close a significant gap in the engineering process and help boost productivity and design quality.

Roland Fuhrmann, Head of IT at Faymonville, a European manufacturer of special vehicles, is implementing E3.EDM as part of a pilot program and said that its capabilities would, “bring significant improvements in our change and variant management process, and in the re-use of existing designs.”

For electrical engineers, the data and

designed to manage E3.series design data in its native format. E3. EDM (Engineering Data Management) builds on Zuken’s E3.series and Contact

4 December 2013/January 2014

According to Zuken this is the first solution that enables native data management of E3.series data, and is intended to improve electrical and fluid

Components in Electronics

process management capabilities of E3.EDM are a seamless extension to the existing E3.series work environment. By using the native E3.series data model, designs are managed on a sheet and device level, enabling engineers to work the way they prefer to work, rather than adapting their work process to the EDM tools. Engineers are also able to immediately see which parts are being used in which design. Project managers benefit from integrated engineering workflow support, resource management and project management capabilities. IT managers are provided with a solution which can be integrated into their existing PLM and ERP systems, and is scalable to the unique and dynamic requirements of each company.

$7bn acquisition: Koch Industries has completed the acquisition of Molex Incorporated in a deal worth $7.2bn. The acquisition was finalised through the merger of Koch Industries’ wholly owned subsidiary, Koch Connectors, with and into Molex. As a result of the merger, Molex is now an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Industries, retaining its name and headquarters in Lisle, Illinois. The company will continue to be operated by its current management team. Dave Robertson, president and COO of Koch Industries said, “This acquisition represents a new platform for growth and innovation for us. We’re looking forward to applying our philosophy at Molex to help identify and capture additional opportunities.”

Wearable electronics: CSR has launched a new Bluetooth Smart platform that has been designed to meet the needs of developers looking to create low-power wearable accessories. The CSR1012, which is part of the CSR µEnergy range, provides a smaller form factor package making it suitable for wearable devices, such as smart watches and activity monitors.

While the platform provides a form factor small enough for wearable devices it still, critically, uses standard PCB technology, which allows developers to get a high-volume product to market quickly and cost effectively.

One Million: Global electronic components distributor Digi-Key Corporation has revealed that it has surpassed one million in-stock components available for immediate shipment, accessible via the company’s new Bill of Materials (BOM) Manager. The company also announced a new Scheduled Shipments feature and Shopping Cart enhancements as well as additional global website improvements which have been designed to accelerate information access and simplify the ordering process for users.

Robotics: Google, the world's largest internet search company has acquired Boston Dynamics, a privately held company that builds robots which are co-developed or funded by the US military. The acquisition is one of a number that have been made by Google's robotics division, headed by Andy Rubin, the former boss of the company's Android mobile operating system. Google's robotics division has acquired more than six robotics companies to date, but remains silent as to what it plans to do with the robots. Based in Waltham, Massachusetts, the company was a spin-off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is best known for its unique robots including the Cheetah, a four legged robot that can hit speeds of 29mph.

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