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Content posted in June 2014
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Magnetic RAM Remains Niche Memory – for Now
News & Analysis  
6/30/2014   4 comments
One report is bullish on MRAM's growth prospects and its potential to replace DRAM and SRAM, while the primary vendor of the nonvolatile memory still sees plenty of short-term opportunity in niche applications, including enterprise storage.
Voice & Face Unlock Smartphones & Tablets
News & Analysis  
6/30/2014   27 comments
The combination of voice identification and facial recognition -- referred to as "biometric fusion" -- yields extremely high levels of accuracy and security.
Actions Licenses ARM for 64-Bit Tablets
News & Analysis  
6/30/2014   6 comments
Actions Semiconductor will provide its first 64-bit ARM Cortex-based SoC in late 2014, making it easier for the Chinese company to develop high-end tablets.
Magnetically Responsive Liquid Crystals Enable Novel Display Apps
News & Analysis  
6/30/2014   2 comments
Scientists at the University of California have constructed liquid crystals with optical properties that can be instantly and reversibly controlled by an external magnetic field, paving the way for novel display applications.
AMS, Dialog Confirm Merger Talks
News & Analysis  
6/30/2014   6 comments
Mixed-signal, power, and RF chip companies AMS AG and Dialog Semiconductor plc have announced that they are in discussions over a possible merger.
Silicon Highway Narrows, Twists
News & Analysis  
6/30/2014   6 comments
The need for multi-patterning at 20 nm and beyond is one of several factors adding cost and complexity for chip vendors, two experts say.
DARPA Robotics Challenge Ups Ante
News & Analysis  
6/27/2014   15 comments
DARPA asks robots to jump through more hoops with less help from humans in the next DARPA Robotics Challenge.
Google Boots Up Project Ara
News & Analysis  
6/27/2014   9 comments
Project Ara is literally up and running, as members of Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects team demonstrated a prototype modular phone at the company’s developer conference. Although the smartphone prototype, froze while booting up, project leads were excited about the device’s potential.
Bean Curd Component Could Slash Solar Panel Costs
News & Analysis  
6/26/2014   32 comments
A researcher scores an almost perfect “free lunch” in discovering a cheaper, less toxic material substitute for the cadmium chloride used in solar panels.
Seeing Is Believing With Google’s Tango Tablet
News & Analysis  
6/26/2014   8 comments
Project Tango will be in consumer hands as early as next year, speakers at Google's I/O developer conference said today. Google is in early engagements with LG to produce the 3D depth sensing tablet next year.
Low-Power, Highly-Secure MCUs for the IoT
News & Analysis  
6/26/2014   16 comments
Microchip's latest MCUs are ideally suited for a wide range of industrial, medical, and home automation applications, including things like IoT sensor nodes.
Power Week: Cheap, Organic Battery for Power Grid; Paper-Thin Battery for IoT & SiC News
News & Analysis  
6/26/2014   4 comments
This week scientists announce a battery for grid electrical storage, German researchers demonstrate efficiency improvements in power electronics, and STMicroelectronics introduces a paper-thin lithium battery suited for ultra-low-profile applications.
Augmented Reality Gets Physical With Haptics
News & Analysis  
6/26/2014   7 comments
If all of us are already familiar with the basic silent-mode of most mobile phones, a crude form of haptics, there is much more to come on the display side.
Cirrus to Take Half Audio IC Market, Says Report
News & Analysis  
6/26/2014   6 comments
Price pressure in the growing audio IC market is leading to consolidation and will continue, according to SensiAn Research. And it is happening top-down with the acquisition of Wolfson Microelectronics by Cirrus Logic.
Google Previews Upcoming Android Release
News & Analysis  
6/25/2014   23 comments
At its annual I/O developer conference held today, Google announced a litany of updates to its mobile, auto, entertainment, and wearable platforms with a new version of Android. The upcoming Android L release will run on three smartwatches, 25 vehicles, and a phone for emerging markets.
Monolythic MEMS Sensor Cuts Size/Cost
News & Analysis  
6/25/2014   12 comments
mCube hopes to expand into low-end smartphones and wearables with new round of series C funding.
GaN LEDs: Sputtering Cuts Costs on Larger Displays
News & Analysis  
6/25/2014   7 comments
University of Tokyo researchers have developed a technology for creating GaN LEDs on glass substrate which could not only cut manufacturing costs but also help to develop OLED light panels.
IBM at the Crossroads: How IBM Got to this Point
News & Analysis  
6/25/2014   9 comments
In the third of a three-part series we analyze how IBM got to the crossroads of considering a sale of its fabs, given its standing as a semiconductor leader.
Bosch 6-Axis Inertial Measurement Unit for Always-On Future
News & Analysis  
6/25/2014   3 comments
Bosch's Sensortec aims its integrated low-power sensor platform for always-on applications in mobile and the Internet of Things.
Smarter Sensor Hub Tops Off Android
News & Analysis  
6/25/2014   7 comments
PNI Sensor Corp. supports all 4.4 KitKat sensor functions for latest Android operating system.
Ultra-Low-Power FRAM-Based MCUs Target Next-Gen Applications
News & Analysis  
6/24/2014   21 comments
TI's MSP430 FRAM-based MCUs, coupled with EnergyTrace++ technology, are designed from the ground up to enable the world’s lowest-power MCU systems.
TRW Launches Its Largest R&D Center -- in China
News & Analysis  
6/24/2014   2 comments
TRW Automotive Holdings has opened an R&D center in China. Placing its largest technology center in the Middle Kingdom provides a clear hint about where the automotive supplier expects further growth.
IBM at the Crossroads: IBM Responds
News & Analysis  
6/24/2014   11 comments
In the second of a three-part series IBM responds to comments from analysts and IBMers about the future of the company as a chipmaker.
Avago Targets Servers in PLX Buy
News & Analysis  
6/24/2014   3 comments
Avago Technologies has acquired PLX Technology in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $309 million.
Stealth Mercenary Team Boosts Fortune 500 Companies
News & Analysis  
6/24/2014   13 comments
Synapse Design styles itself as a mercenary design team. Working for Fortune 500 companies, Synapse Design has taped out 33 SoCs in the last 12 months.
China Smartphones: Hot for Sensor Hubs
News & Analysis  
6/23/2014   5 comments
Hillcrest Labs has snatched a smartphone design win for its sensor hub software from Coolpad. This illustrates the insatiable desire among smartphone and wearable vendors to add more sensors to their devices.
Micron 3D Memory Supercharges Xeon Phi
News & Analysis  
6/23/2014   8 comments
Analysts have speculated wildly about the technical details of the massively parallel next-generation Knights Landing Xeon Phi. Today Intel and its 3D memory partner, Micron Technology Inc., put all that speculation to rest.
Intel Massive Parallel Upgrades Due
News & Analysis  
6/23/2014   8 comments
Intel ups the ante in supercomputer processors by boosting Xeon Phi from 1 to 3 teraflops, adding an on-chip optical fiber interface and 16 Gbytes of 3D hybrid memory cube jointly developed with Micron.
X-Fab Cranks Up MEMS Capacities
News & Analysis  
6/23/2014   Post a comment
Semiconductor foundry X-Fab is expanding its MEMS manufacturing capacity in its Erfurt and Itzehoe locations. At these locations, X-Fab is adding 21.500 square feet of cleanroom facilities.
IBM at the Crossroads: Employees Talk
News & Analysis  
6/23/2014   16 comments
In the first of a three-part series we talk to analysts and current and former IBMers about the future of IBM as a chipmaker.
TE Connectivity Moves Deeper Into Sensors
News & Analysis  
6/20/2014   2 comments
TE Connectivity's acquisition of Measurement Specialties of Massachusetts moves the connectivity giant into temperature measurement.
Brazil Wins in LFoundry Rousset Sell-Off
News & Analysis  
6/20/2014   1 comment
South American wafer fab Six Semiconductores of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, has been selected by the Commercial Court of Paris to buy the assets of the bankrupt LFoundry Rousset wafer fab site.
Apple Preps Multiple Smartwatches
News & Analysis  
6/20/2014   12 comments
Wearable devices will include sensors to track health and fitness, according to sources.
Supreme Court Rules Against Software Patents
News & Analysis  
6/19/2014   28 comments
In a case that may affect the tech industry for years to come, the Supreme Court struck down a case on the patentability of software. The unanimous vote in Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International renders software patents ineligible as abstract ideas.
Patient, Heal Thyself!: How an Army Vet Did While Helping His Comrades
News & Analysis  
6/19/2014   10 comments
Veteran Justin Minyard, a 9/11 first responder at the Pentagon who went on to serve tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, insists medical technology saved his life.
Power Week: Superconducting Secrets Revealed, 660°F Circuits & Power Transistor Rebound
News & Analysis  
6/19/2014   Post a comment
This week, a breakthrough in high-temperature superconductivity, a positive forecast for power semis, SiC circuits that can operate at 660°F, a shock-and-vibration resistant 3,400 F supercap, and more.
SanDisk Acquires Fusion-io
News & Analysis  
6/19/2014   2 comments
SanDisk pays $1.1 billion in cash deal to expand its solid-state drive line that supports the PCI Express (PCIe) interconnect.
Why MIPS? Imagination Makes Its Case
News & Analysis  
6/19/2014   19 comments
Here are a few facts about where MIPS stands, and some clues to the big picture Imagination hopes to paint for its new customers.
Radios Give IoT New Channels
News & Analysis  
6/19/2014   2 comments
Researchers at Imec described work on a basketful of radios for the Internet of Things from 79 GHz radar to 900 MHz wireless charging.
Quantum Computing Researchers Tap Test & Measurement Tools
News & Analysis  
6/18/2014   2 comments
Arbitrary waveform generator lets researchers work towards solving the problem of unstable qubits.
Crunch Your IoT Data Before It Clogs the Network
News & Analysis  
6/18/2014   3 comments
In today's IoT frenzy, a lot of companies rush to connect sensors and provide all sorts of monitoring services, and carriers will happily bill them for the data that transits through their networks.
Molex's Shopping Spree Continues
News & Analysis  
6/18/2014   1 comment
Following the recent acquisition of the heavy-duty connector business of Westec last May, and after acquiring the Munich-based FCT Electronics Group in August last year, Molex, which only merged with cabling and connector giant Koch Industries in November last year, is now acquiring Flamar Cavi Elettrici S.r.l.
Samsung Edges Q'comm in New Android Test
News & Analysis  
6/18/2014   6 comments
Initial results using a new Android benchmark from EEMBC show Samsung's Exynos 5 Octa nudging ahead of Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800.
Is China the World's Leading Cyberspy?
News & Analysis  
6/17/2014   6 comments
This is the first of a three-part series examining the fallout on industry from China's alleged cyberspying. Today we examine the proof of spying and its effects on industry.
Analog Devices' $2 Billion RF Buy
News & Analysis  
6/17/2014   6 comments
With its $2 billion cash deal to acquire RF chip maker Hittite Microwave Corp. last week, ADI will gain more than a 1,000 RF chip products that cover the frequency range of DC to 110 GHz: RF (0 to 6 GHz), microwave (6 GHz to 20 GHz), and millimeter wave (20 GHz to 110 GHz).
Next-Gen DSPs Target High-Performance Power-Constrained Apps
News & Analysis  
6/17/2014   Post a comment
With up to 800 MMACs performance and 1 MB of embedded SRAM, the ADSP-BF70x processor family from ADI targets industrial imaging, audio, and automotive applications.
Programmable Analog: Maxim Creates Swiss Army Knife
News & Analysis  
6/17/2014   30 comments
Instead of creating a problematical field-programmable analog array (FPAA), Maxim has created the analog equivalent of a simple PLD (programmable logic device).
Make Way for Autonomous Cars
News & Analysis  
6/17/2014   1 comment
Google's recent announcement that it would produce approximately 100 self-driving cars came as a surprise to the general public, but it's hardly a new idea within the auto industry.
First Ultrasonic MEMS Controller to Make Mobile Hands Free
News & Analysis  
6/17/2014   Post a comment
Knowles, the world's biggest supplier of MEMS microphones, has announced the world's first ultrasonic MEMS microphone designed to extend the control of mobile devices into the 3D space above and around the screen.
DRAM's Mood Swings Stabilize
News & Analysis  
6/17/2014   5 comments
From factory fires to consolidations, DRAM manufacturers have been through a lot, but now appear to be stabilizing as the market takes off.
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Max Maxfield

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14 comments
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Jolt Judges and Andrew Binstock

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Jolt Judges and Andrew Binstock
1 Comment
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Air Conditioner Falls From Window, Still Works
Engineering Investigations
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David Blaza
5 comments
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