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News & Views at AND
How will AND's testing services help you?
While everyone understands the importance of testing, all too often this important part of development is squashed by the project pressures of time-to-market & budget; resulting in either not the right type of testing being carried out or simply just not enough of it being done.
We have all looked, but unfortunately there does not appear to be a perfect formula that can be applied time & time again for balancing the time/budget see-saw, but managing the effects caused by these two pressures, this is different & can be handled with experience & knowledge.
Over the past 30 years AND Technology Research (AND) has become well known for its award-winning electronics & software designs/developments & while clearly AND has experience of how to develop things like circuit boards, control software & prototypes for the real world, running parallel a deep knowledge that has been built up on how best to exercise & test a range of different systems.
Now AND are offering this service out to industry, independent of their traditional design/development services.
The dedicated test team at AND can cover a wide range of test requirements including user interface & web based testing, end-to-end system testing, battery life & performance assessments, RF ZigBee range testing & stress/accelerated life analysis, through to providing detailed Due Diligence assurance for companies looking to check whether their products, or products from a 3rd party that will carry the company branding, are fit for purpose.
One of the key aims of the test team is to work closely with customers & so depending on requirements test plans are tailored specifically to meet the client's needs, if required AND can flexibly work to any existing test procedures, plans, standards or tools, which companies may already have set in place & in addition technical support can be provided throughout 'sprints' during the project & written reports can be issued.
In a nutshell, the test service offers all the benefits of having your own in-house test department but with the added assurance of being independent.
Furthermore, a timescale &/or budget can be allocated to this work & AND can advise on a test plan that will make the best use of those constraints, exercising & testing the system in an intelligent manor based on deep product development knowledge & a understanding of where issues can creep into designs.
If your company is looking to test new
products or technologies & would like further advice on AND's testing services
then please contact our sales team (firstname.lastname@example.org),
who will be more than happy to discuss your specific requirements with you.
AND welcome new software engineer!
Ed brings a variety of skills & fresh ideas to the team in the areas of software & embedded development, in addition to analogue & digital electronics.
Having gained a Master's degree in Electronics Engineering from Durham University, Ed developed a passion for learning new technologies when completing his final year project, which focused on adding audio capability to GPS/GPRS trackers, with an interest in producing environmental noise maps.
After completing his degree, Ed went straight into the industry working as an engineer at Roke Manor Research where he was part of a team that produced custom & innovative solutions for government & various commercial projects. During his time at Roke Manor Research, Ed worked on C & C++ embedded development projects as well as gaining high levels of experience in implementation, debugging, interfacing test and code & design review.
On Ed's appointment, Steven Kear Programmes Director at AND comments, "Ed will be a real asset to our software team; as AND continues to grow it's not only vital for us to keep the flow of talent fresh but imperative if we want to keep up with the relentless wave of technological change." Ed said, "I'm really excited about my new role within the software team & I'm looking forwards to working on the projects that lay ahead".
In his spare time Ed enjoys socialising with friends, playing & following football along with listening to jazz & playing the blues guitar.
All the AND team welcome Ed & wish
him every success in his new role as Software Engineer.
AND's Top Tech Xmas Gift Guide
This is quite possibly the most exciting starter kit you will ever purchase & probably the geekiest gift to make it into our top five this year. MaKey MaKey is an invention kit for beginners & experts of the 21st century, imagine the possibilities of being able to turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet.
The kit includes the MaKey MaKey board, alligator clips & USB cables - it works by attaching the alligator clips to any material that can conduct at least a tiny bit of electricity to the MaKey MaKey. Use your imagination & utilise objects such as plants, staircases, your grandparents, do a drawing, anything that is wet, most foods, cats & dogs, and hundreds more!
MaKey MaKey uses the arrow keys, space bar & mouse left click, with the back of the board supporting hook-ups for 6 keyboard keys, and mouse control. It also has the open hardware logo, a link for help getting started & an area for using the board in Arduino mode.
You will need to watch the video to believe
it! The MaKey MaKey is on our Christmas wish list this year, we can't wait to
turn the AND office into a giant game of Pac Man.
This is the perfect gadget for anyone who is constantly on the go, be able to scan documents or pictures in the blink of an eye, straight on to your iPad with the DOCS2GO Scanner.
Dock your iPad into the standard 30-pin connector, then feed your documents or pictures through the scanner & watch how they instantly appear on the iPad's screen. It's that easy! The DOCS2GO Scanner is sleek & portable, with its lightweight design enabling you to scan photo's round a friend's house or upload & send documents during those customer meetings.
With the availability to scan any photo
or document up to a standard size A4, the DOCS2GO Scanner has 300 DPI high resolution
scanning & is powered by your existing iPad 10W USB power adapter.
Step back to the 1950's with the retro Pop Phone, a quirky gizmo based on the classic Bakelite telephone handset designed to plug into your tablet, laptop & smartphones.
This is the perfect prezzie for somebody who likes to stand out from the crowd - for either the right or wrong reasons - imagine the look on everyone's faces when your mobile phone rings on Christmas Day & you pull this relic out of your pocket.
Available in a variety of eye-popping
colours, the Pop Phone allows access to phone functions when making calls &
even improves call comfort. We will definitely be purchasing one of these for
the office, surely the Pop Phone will go down a treat at all those important
Take gaming to a whole new level this Christmas with the Nintendo Wii U Console & GamePad, the perfect gift for endless hours of fun & to be enjoyed by all the family.
Blur the boundaries between you, your games & TV with the impressive Wii U GamePad controller - the latest addition to the Wii family, which opens up a second window into the thrilling world of video games. Dive straight into the gaming action with the hand-held unit that has a 6.2" touchscreen, motion control, front-facing camera, microphone, stereo speakers, rumble features, and Wii stylus, presenting an exciting new way for you to interact with your games & other gamers.
Enjoy the dual screen feature by running video games on the Wii U Console & GamePad, transporting you to another gaming dimension.
The Wii U Console is able to produce full
HD output, provides stunning visuals & has 8GB of flash storage - with the
capability of playing DVDs & an internet connection, the console makes for
a well-rounded gaming device.
Update your current kindle collection with the all new singing & dancing Kindle Fire, a vibrant 7" colour touchscreen with new 1.2GHz processor & 1GB RAM, designed for browsing, watching, playing & reading. With access to over 22 million movies, TV shows, songs, books and magazines, not forgetting tens of thousands of popular apps - the Kindle Fire will definitely keep you entertained for hours over the festive period! Ideal for kids & even bigger kids alike, the Kindle Fire tablet is reasonably priced so won't blow your entire Christmas budget.
Ready to use straight out of the box,
the Kindle Fire boasts built in Wi-Fi, up to 9 hours of battery life & has
a sleek design measuring in at 189 mm x 120 mm x 11.5 mm and weighs just 400
makey makey [www.makeymakey.com]
native union [www.nativeunion.com]
AND's Christmas Jumper Day!
The fundraising event held on Friday 14th December, saw members of the AND team throw on their festive knits to raise money for Save the Children & support their life-changing work for the poorest children in the UK & around the world.
Ranging from cute & fluffy to ghastly granny hand-me-downs the array of jumpers sported by the AND team certainly was impressive. Everybody made a good effort - there were customised knits adorned with bells, baubles & tinsel as well as a classic retro jumper donned by David Ashwell that stole the show & won our prize for "Best Dodgy Jumper".
The AND Christmas grotto was full of festive cheer, with a feast of Christmas favourites gorged on over lunch, there were mince pies by the dozen, a savoury cheese board & glasses of Bucks Fizz all round.
Gemma Rippengale, Marketing Supporting Executive & organiser of the day, says, "Christmas Jumper Day proved to be a really fun event & was a great excuse to get the AND team in the Christmas spirit. It was nice to do something festive & raise money for such a worthy cause."
Take a look at our Christmas Jumper Day
snaps on our website at our
save the children [www.savethechildren.org.uk]
CEO Valerie Thorn becomes CDir
Already a member of the IoD & having passed her Certificate in Company Development & the Diploma in Company Direction; distinct learning & assessment stages required in order to become a Charter Director, Valerie undertook her final assessment conducted by two peer directors, based on a portfolio of experience to achieve her Chartered Director qualification.
Having founded AND, back in 1980, Valerie was able to call upon her experience as CEO as the main focal point of her portfolio. The structure & responsibility of AND's board of directors goes hand in hand with the everyday decision making, strategic planning & forward thinking of the company.
Valerie Thorn, says, "I aim to have a supportive, friendly & best practiced work environment where AND's vision, 'Innovation with purpose', is applied to every aspect of work life. Being recognised with the Chartered Director award shows how AND is able to take careful direction from the board, with every decision & process being carefully filtered down to all levels within the company."
Accredited on a national level by the
IoD, Valerie was awarded for demonstrating professionalism & best practice
within the boardroom ensuring that AND upholds corporate governance & on-going
wellbeing of the company & its stakeholders.
institute of directors [www.iod.com]
How does it work: AND's smart factory technology
One of the first UK companies to benefit from the pilot trials of the technology was Norfolk-based Merit Plastic Mouldings (MPM), who worked with AND to have the smart factory technology installed.
During the 1 month trial MPM were able to remotely monitor a selection of their machines & keep track of how much power their factory was really using.
Designed to provide centralised monitoring & control of energy, HVAC (Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning), lighting & access control systems, the technology is not only easy to install but utilises the factory's existing mains wiring as a communication network.
The smart factory equipment installed at MPM consisted of multiple C-Route units; for individual monitoring of machines & a C-Port concentrator; for energy data collection from all of the C-Route devices.
Existing moulding machines & chillers were fitted with a C-Route unit, in order to track the amount of energy they were consuming. Energy readings were then taken from all three phases supplying the machine, via non-intrusive current clamps that are placed around each feed. The C-Route unit interprets the energy draw of a particular machine & then sends this data back to the C-Port concentrator. Utilising power line communication (PLC) technology, data is able to easily travel from a number of C-Route units back to a C-Port, where it can then be accessed & displayed through a web page. Staff at both MPM & remotely at AND, logged into the C-Port unit via their Web Browser during the trial to view/log energy usage for each of the machines.
When the energy monitors & data concentrator were 1st activated a communications network was automatically created, using the existing mains power cables within MPM's factory. This means that no extra installation of equipment or disruption to infrastructure was required as the tools for using the Connect equipment is already in place.
With the smart factory technology installed, MPM have been given greater visibility into how much energy they are using - understandably their moulding & forming machinery will inevitably be power hungry but the monitoring equipment has already highlighted interesting findings & areas where they are able to save energy & importantly save money.
Steven Kear, Programmes Director at AND Technology Research, says "Our smart factory technology is able to highlight to business owners not only how much energy is being used by their factory, but importantly how it is being used. With this, informed choices can then be made on how to reduce energy usage & ultimately reduce operating costs". Kear added "Monitoring is only one part of the smart factory equipment's' capabilities, over the next few months we will also be launching smart control modules that can intelligently switch on/off assets".
merit plastic mouldings [www.meritplastics.co.uk]
New members of staff join the AND team
A recent graduate from the University of Sussex, Chris Odhams brings his strong scientific & research skills to the everyday operation at AND.
Joining the engineering side of the company, the role will see Chris primarily focused on developing AND's new range of Connect products, in addition to supporting AND's growing test & compliance team.
Asked about his new role, Chris said: "I'm really looking forward to being part of the testing team at AND, it will be interesting to be involved in testing customer's products that will eventually be launched to the general public."
Furthermore to supporting the testing teams at AND, Chris will be involved in assisting the sales team with the promotion of their new Smart Factory initiative & Connect products.
Coincidently, AND has also scooped a 2nd
University of Sussex graduate Abhishek Patil. Abhi joins the team as a Graduate
Technician where he will be assisting the hardware & software teams by providing
design support, constructing prototypes & test jigs in addition to supporting
the test team.
Originally from India, Abhishek came to England to study & pursue his passion with electronics. Graduating with a Bachelors of Engineering in Electronics & Telecommunication, Abhi also completed an MSc in Modern Communication Technologies with Business Management.
On his appointment to AND, Abhishek said: "As graduate technician at AND, I am keen to put the theory I have learnt into practice in addition to continuing to expand my knowledge of the electronics field so that I can succeed in the engineering industry".
Valerie Thorn, CEO & Consultant at
AND Technology Research said "We would like to take this opportunity to
wish Chris & Abhishek every success in starting their new roles within the
Top Tech 2011
Yes we can't believe it either - but Christmas is almost here; with only a few shopping days left, the team at AND thought they would highlight their favourite gadgets to give you a helping hand with those last minute stocking fillers.
It seemed pretty daft to strap a clunky arcade cabinet to one of the most advanced touchscreen tablets, just to play a game of Space Invaders - but that is why we love the iCade. It's incredibly ridiculous but all the same it's very entertaining and we bet it'll have you hooked for hours! The iCade is an arcade-style casing that fits snuggly around your iPad giving it that retro arcade feel. Boasting a chunky joystick and eight full sized buttons, this neat gadget allows you to relive classic games from the 70's and 80's through the downloadable app Atari Greatest Hits. Compatible with new & existing apps, the iCade also doubles up as a stylish stand for you iPad - you won't be able to leave it alone.
The Nike+ Sportwatch is the latest must-have
gadget from Nike, aimed at enthusiastic sportsmen this clever device will revolutionise
the future of your running. In collaboration with TomTom, the Nike+ sports watch
boasts GPS technology that works in tandem with a Nike+ shoe sensor (included
in the box) to capture every step of your run - cleverly tracking your pace,
distance, time & calories. With USB contacts already fitted to the watch
strap uploading your run history, personal records & tracking your goals
to your computer couldn't be made any easier. We think the Nike+ sports watch
will come in very handy when trying to work off those Christmas pies come January!
The Optoma PK301 pico projector is the
perfect prezzie for anyone who is always on the go; so if you're constantly
dashing from one meeting to another then this dinky gadget could be the ideal
gift for you. Measuring up at a compact 120 x 70 x 30mm and weighing in at just
250g, the PK301 allows you to view business presentations & share entertainment
either at home or in the office. Featuring a micro SD & USB connectivity
alongside mini HDMI, the PK301 sets a whole new standard for mobile projecting.
For ultimate on-the-go gaming, the Nintendo
3DS is the perfect gift for Christmas, although, predominantly aimed at children
this little device will not fail to impress adult gamers alike. Without the
need for 3D glasses, you are completely immersed into a whole new realm - giving
you the ability of selecting the level of 3D that suits best. Displaying 16.77
million colours on the lower LCD screen, the new 3DS includes a circle pad providing
a full 360° of direction giving you the freedom & precision to explore
the 3D worlds. Surely the launch
of Super Mario 3D Land is enough to sway you into wanting this really cool gadget?
Be ready to film this year's Christmas antics with the simple yet sophisticated Flip Ultra HD pocket camcorder. The new & improved 3rd generation model combines stunning high definition video quality with shoot-and-share simplicity. With 120 minutes of recording time & 8GB of built in memory, just switch on, press record and start capturing those precious moments.
With the nifty USB arm already attached,
sharing your videos couldn't be easier, just flip the USB arm and start uploading
videos directly into your computer.
Gill Hayward: WWII code breaker
Hayward, who passed away in early October aged 93, will be remembered for his lasting contribution to the design of the wartime "Tunny" decryption machines, which were developed by the Post Office Research Station at Dollis Hill & used at the now famous Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire.
In 1938 just before WWII erupted, Bletchley Park became residence of The Government Code & Cypher School providing a safe haven for British intelligence work to be carried out unhindered by enemy air attacks & ideally situated for the Oxbridge universities to supply many of the code breakers who worked at the estate.
Initially concentrating on breaking Enigma ciphers, focus then moved to the German Lorenz SZ42 cipher machine ("Tunny"), a radio teleprinter communications device used by members of the German High Command throughout the Second World War to transmit higher grade secrets. The Lorenz was much more powerful than the infamous Enigma machine, utilising 12 encoding "wheels" compared to the Enigma's three or four.
In 1941 the first messages ("Fish") were broken using hand-methods, but introduced complications by the Germans soon made Tunny messages impossible to decode by hand alone.
To address this added complexity in the cipher Colossus was developed, a machine with capabilities of reducing time spent establishing wheel settings from weeks to just days - allowing commanders in the field to act on resulting information that was being discovered by intercepted messages.
Hayward's electronic engineering know-how proved vital to the successful progression of the Colossus. During WWII there were eventually 10 Colossus machines in use at Bletchley Park, all providing allied forces with critical information intercepted from the German High Command & notably providing key intelligence uncovered for D-Day.
Only in recent years has the impressive Colossus machine been given the full recognition it deserves - as one of the first modern computers of its time.
After serving the Intelligence Corps out in Egypt from 1940-1944, Hayward was called back to Bletchley Park where he became Intelligence Corps captain of room 29. Here he was responsible for a number of Post Office engineers whose job was to keep an eye on the machines, check they were working & keep them running for 24 hours a day until the war was over.
It was in the 1980's when Gill's path crossed with AND Technology Research, after he set up his own company Encrypta Electronics. At Encrypta, Hayward used his own code breaking technology to patent the world's first electronic security seal, which was manufactured & sold all over the world. The engineers here at AND, helped Gill to design the software for the encryption system that is still used today throughout the transport & distribution industry.
During his retirement Gill helped researchers
rebuild Colossus after they had all been destroyed at the end of the war - luckily
he had jotted down the plans for the machines! Receiving the Duke of Kent award
in 1996 for his contribution to the war effort & being presented with a
special award from the Prime Minister for his code breaking skills last year
- Gill Hayward will remain a key figure in the electronics industry for many
years to come.
bletchley park [www.bletchleypark.org]
Dennis Ritchie: a technological innovator
October 2011 saw the world lose two innovative minds. While one generated scenes of public mourning that shook the iPod generation, the technology world lost another, lesser known but equally an important figure Dennis Ritchie, after a long battle with cancer and heart disease.
It was in the late 1960s and early 70s, when Ritchie made a life-changing contribution to computer science that was to alter the future of technology as we know it. Working at Bell Labs, now owned by Alcatel Lucent, Ritchie joined the programming division arriving at a time when one of their major projects Multics was in crisis.
Long before the microchip and personal computers had been invented, the nearest thing to personal computing was the computer utility, a large mainframe machine that was used by multiple users sitting at typewriter terminals. Although the utility was highly expensive to run, it seemed to pave the road ahead for the future of personal computing.
The origins of Unix was born, when a group consisting of General Electric, Bell Labs and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, embarked on a project entitled Multics (Multiplexed Information and Computing Service), which was to be the largest computer utility designed to support several hundred simultaneous users.
Bell Labs were to create the operating software for the system and when Ritchie joined the company, people were just starting to learn that writing large programs was incredibly difficult & costly. In 1969, just four years into development Bell Labs pulled out of the project.
Still able to see potential in the system, Dennis Ritchie - along with Ken Thompson, Brian Kernighan, Douglas Mcllroy and Joe Ossanna, created a simpler & smaller system that they would call Unix.
The Unix effect has been felt in countless ways, it has established many of the software engineering principles that still exist today and was the operating system of choice for the internet. Unix is also responsible for the open source movement, with its variant Linux, powering most of the world's data centres today, including those at Google & Amazon.
Ironically, for a pioneer whose influence is largely unknown - Unix is at the heart of popular operating systems like Apple's iOS, which is widely used at present in all of their consumer computing products.
When the time came to rewrite the operating system for an entirely new machine, Thompson and Ritchie had other plans, aiming to simplify and bridge the gap between machine codes & programming languages such as Fortran & Cobol, they invented the language of C.
Built upon a shorthand of words, numbers and punctuations - the C programming language was designed for system programmers who wanted to gain maximum performance from operating systems. Still widely used today, successors of C including C++ and Java rely on the ideas, rules and grammar that Ritchie premeditated.
Dennis Ritchie will remain at the forefront
of computer science for many years to come, he will be remembered as the father
of computer programming & as the founder of a digital era that has helped
shape the modern world.
bell labs [www.alcatel-lucent.com]
Travelling to Africa with his Dad and two of their closest friends as part of his father's 50th birthday celebration, Joel saw this as a once in a lifetime opportunity and after raising the funds himself (by putting in the extra hours at AND), he was able to accompany his Dad on a journey he would never forget.
Joel, aged 16, trained rigorously 4 weeks prior to the trip, walking 14 miles every other day and by implementing a muscle gaining diet that would help increase his stamina and endurance.
Commencing the journey in groups of 9,
the hike took a total of 8 days - six days climbing up to the top of the summit,
and 2 days to get back down.
With temperatures plummeting to -23°c and with the ground underfoot filled with loose scree, no training could prepare the climbers for the final trek to the summit. Battling through extreme weather conditions the group made it to the peak of the mountain with high morale, Joel described it as, "Absolutely stunning, the sun rose out from behind the glaciers & glittered on the ice, it was truly breath-taking and I couldn't help but stare. The experience was one of the greatest in my life so far and I doubt anything I do in the future will compare to that feeling of reaching the top."
Inspired by his Kilimanjaro climb, Joel has not ruled out the challenge of tackling the seven highest peaks in the world and after already climbing Africa's highest mountain, that's one adventure he can cross off the list.
All the team at AND would like to take
this opportunity to congratulate Joel on completing the climb of Kilimanjaro
& reaching the summit, which is a whopping 19,340 feet above sea level!
kilimanjaro facts [www.climbmountkilimanjaro.com]
Japanese chain reaction
While the world's media gaze may have moved on from the tragic events that happened in Japan in March this year, AND along with many in the electronics industry are still very much focused on news coming out from one of the world's most important technology hubs.
As is so often the case in these disasters, while the initial incident is crippling, it's the events that unfold afterwards that can be equally, if not more damaging. One such factor is the disruption to manufacture & supply of electronic components.
Latest developments from Japan reveal that further delay to supply chains of critical components could be set to last all year.
New IHS iSuppli research indicates, that disruptions caused by the Japan earthquake and tsunami could see shipments of crystals to be overdue by four weeks - impacting the supply of components used in products such as mobile phones & PCs.
Average lead times for megahertz and kilohertz crystals rose to 12 weeks in April, up by 50% from eight weeks in March, therefore lengthening the time of delivery and in turn slowing down the process of producing new products that could be in demand.
Supplied by companies such as Epson, NDK and Citizen, the shortage of crystals could see prices climb from Japanese suppliers over the next few weeks.
Takeshi Hattori, president of Hattori Consulting International and columnist for Japan's Electronic Journal has written in a report on the effects of the earthquake and says, "Supply chains will not fully recover until this fall at earliest or until the end of this year according to the Ministry of Economics, Trade, and Industry (METI)."
Hattori explains how companies such as SEH's Shirakawa Plant, have been pulled into the centre of attention since the aftermath of the earthquake have left them picking up the pieces.
Press releases from semiconductors manufacturers have revealed plans of a roadmap to recovery that should see an increase in production capacity towards the end of this summer.
However, circumstances including big aftershocks, unstable electricity supply and unexpected blackouts are disturbing production in all of Japans most affected areas.
Toshiba has decided to operate, along with many other semiconductors, during Golden Week - a public bank holiday that will see most of Japans other plants & offices close. Fujitsu will also continue work, thus, maximising the effort to efficiently use electricity while the rest of Japan is on a break nationwide.
Whilst the physical devastation of northern
Japan is still remnant, the impact on the global supply chains still remains
at the forefront of the electronics industry.
Hook Norton Primary School based in Oxfordshire, invited AND Technology Research along to the climax of their Eco initiative, an open evening to celebrate the newly installed solar panels in addition to pupils work on energy, energy conservation & being 'green'.
The photovoltaic (PV) panels, installed on the south-facing roofs of the school, help generate a substantial amount of the school's electricity & hot water supply. Additionally, electricity created from the solar panels can then be supplied back to the national grid producing further revenue for the primary school.
AND were invited along to give demonstrations & discuss with individuals the types of technologies on offer that could be used to take energy-saving actions.
Steven Kear, Programmes Director at AND said "It's great to see a whole community so engaged in energy conservation. I've talked to pupils, parents & whole families about their thoughts on energy, their current needs & ways in which they can use energy more intelligently."
Steven adds "AND's ZigBee-based IHEM (In-Home Energy Monitor) demo also proved popular allowing me to demonstrate some of the technology we have available to not only monitor energy use, but identify what's using it & intelligently control it."
The carbon reduction measures that are now implemented at Hook Norton Primary School were installed through the Low Carbon Hook Norton agreement, which was set up by Hook Norton Low Carbon Limited (HNLC).
HNLC is an Industrial Provident Society that was established by Low Carbon Hook Norton members to help the community reduce its energy consumption, carbon emissions and save money through a range of community-based schemes & individual household projects based on interest-free loans.
The event, organised in conjunction with the HNLC, was aimed at all members of the Hook Norton community, not just parents & teachers. Classes showcased artwork, photographs & artefacts as part of the carbon reduction awareness event.
hook norton low carbon ltd. [www.hn-lc.org.uk]
Embedded World 2011- what caught AND's eye
The world's biggest show of its kind saw exhibitors & conferences taking place from all avenues of the electronics industry - covering automotive, military, telecoms, industrial & consumer electronic sectors.
The 3-day exhibition is now one of the biggest events on the electronics calendar, with experts from all over the world meeting to showcase new products & discuss innovative ideas.
Richard Krowoza, Member of the Management Board of NürnbergMesse said, "The exhibition in the four halls showed a unique global range of products for high-tech embedded systems."
Embedded World saw a main focus on energy-optimised solutions & products in all product segments, from software & hardware, to tools & services. The priority to cut energy emissions was a key theme running across all areas of what was on offer at the conference - highlighting how embedded systems are key part in saving resources for the future.
Besides energy efficiency, communication was another key focus, from M2M communication right through to cloud computing in the embedded sector.
A whole host of interesting products debut at the event; a few which caught AND's eye were: Energy Micro's new Cortex-M0 product - entitled Zero Gecko.
Claiming to offer a 300% battery life increase, Energy Micro's low cost energy friendly microcontroller solution is pin compatible with their earlier M3 based products. The Zero Gecko is aiming to target battery-backed applications in sectors such as energy metering, building automation, security & portable medical equipment.
Another product to shine out at the show was Future Technology Devices International (FTDI) single channel USB 2.0 chip, which they've now added to their expansive USB portfolio.
With the ability of being configured via EEPROM the device contains USB, serial & parallel protocol engines. With data speeds of up to 30Mbit/s the single USB chip is able to eliminate the requirement of specific USB firmware development.
embedded world [www.embedded-world.de/en/]
CES - Show Report
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held in Las Vegas, was none other than a
success, after opening its doors to over 20,000 innovative products, all new
Currently in its 43rd year, the show attracted a record number of attendees - some 140,000, with 30,000 of these travelling from overseas. Waiting to captivate the minds of all these visitors were more than 2,700 technological companies all with stalls that were eager to excite the crowds at this year's event.
The large scale tradeshow sees companies from all walks of the technology spectrum come together and exhibit products from the automotive, entertainment, computing, TV and mobile phone industry - a few to say the least.
Many technology trends graced the show floor; as anticipated there was the battle of the tablet's with 80 new product debuted, of course 3D-everything, TV's that stream their content from the Internet and who could forget Polaroid's GL20 camera glasses worn, modelled and demoed by Lady Gaga.
One of the biggest pieces of news to come out of the CES was Microsoft, announcing that its next release of Windows (likely to be Windows 8) would support System On Chip (SOC) devices.
At the event Microsoft showcased examples of desktop versions of Windows 7 running on a Qualcomm Snapdragon, Texas Instruments OMAP & Nvidia Tegra processors, all built around designs from UK firm ARM.
While Microsoft already has a version of Windows that will run on ARM-based chips (Windows Phone 7) this is essentially a feature-limited build designed for smaller devices; where this new version of Windows would be able to support tablets and netbooks, allowing for multi-touch interface and running applications such as Word, PowerPoint, and Internet Explorer.
This new development from Microsoft could open up a vast amount of opportunities, allowing them to better compete in the mobile & portable gadget markets arenas - areas where they have not recently been so successful. However, with an anticipated launch date of 2012 & ARM compatible operating systems from competing manufactures already available, making a success of this recent announcement will be a challenge.