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Machine Learning: A Simple Guide to the Future

Thu, 02/29/2024 - 08:09

In today’s rapidly evolving technological landscape, one term seems to be on everyone’s lips: machine learning. From improving search engine results to predicting customer behaviour, machine learning is transforming industries and reshaping the way we interact with technology. Let’s delve into what machine learning is, its history, types, workings, applications, examples, advantages, disadvantages, and the promising future it holds.

What is Machine Learning?

At its core, machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence (AI) that enables computers to learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed. It’s like teaching a computer to recognize patterns and make decisions based on data, rather than relying on pre-defined rules.

Machine Learning History

The concept of machine learning dates back to the 1950s when pioneers like Arthur Samuel began experimenting with algorithms that could improve their performance over time. Since then, the field has seen exponential growth, fueled by advancements in computing power and the availability of vast amounts of data.

Types of Machine Learning

Machine learning can be broadly categorized into three types: supervised learning, unsupervised learning, and reinforcement learning. Supervised learning involves training a model on labeled data, unsupervised learning deals with unlabeled data to find hidden patterns, and reinforcement learning focuses on training models to make sequential decisions through trial and error.

How Does Machine Learning Work?

Machine learning algorithms work by analyzing data, identifying patterns, and making predictions or decisions based on those patterns. These algorithms learn from historical data to improve their performance over time, making them more accurate and effective.

Machine Learning Applications

Machine learning finds applications across various industries, including healthcare (diagnosis and treatment planning), finance (fraud detection and stock market analysis), marketing (customer segmentation and personalized recommendations), and many more.

Machine Learning Examples

Some prominent examples of machine learning in action include recommendation systems like those used by Netflix and Amazon, natural language processing applications like virtual assistants Siri and Alexa, image recognition technologies used in autonomous vehicles, and predictive analytics tools used in healthcare to forecast disease outbreaks.

Machine Learning Advantages

One of the main advantages of machine learning is its ability to process large amounts of data quickly and accurately, leading to more informed decision-making. It also has the potential to automate repetitive tasks, improve efficiency, and uncover insights that humans might overlook.

Machine Learning Disadvantages

However, machine learning is not without its limitations. One major challenge is the need for high-quality, labeled data for training models, which can be time-consuming and expensive to obtain. Additionally, there are concerns surrounding privacy, bias, and ethics, as machine learning algorithms can sometimes perpetuate or even amplify existing societal biases present in the data.

Future of Machine Learning

Despite its challenges, the future of machine learning looks incredibly promising. Advancements in areas like deep learning, reinforcement learning, and quantum computing are poised to take machine learning to new heights, enabling even more sophisticated applications across diverse domains.

In conclusion, machine learning represents a groundbreaking technology that is reshaping our world in profound ways. From revolutionizing industries to enhancing everyday experiences, its impact is undeniable. As we continue to push the boundaries of what is possible with machine learning, the opportunities for innovation and growth are limitless. So, let’s embrace this exciting journey into the future of intelligent machines and the endless possibilities they bring.

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Outlook on the Mass Adoption of XR

Thu, 02/29/2024 - 07:29

Author: Pankaj Raut, CEO and Co-founder at Ajna Lens

As we soar into a new era of technological advancement, the world finds itself on the cusp of a transformation with Extended Reality (XR).

Pankaj Raut CEO and Co-founder of Ajna Lens

Statistics paints a compelling picture: The global XR market is expected to reach a staggering $1,134.79 billion by 2030, with a phenomenal growth rate. While still nascent, XR holds the potential to reshape every aspect of Aerospace & Defence (A&D) from design and training to maintenance and operations.

For instance, try to imagine pilots undergoing hyper-realistic, multi-sensory flight simulations in virtual battlefields, honing their skills in controlled environments that replicate G-forces, turbulence and even enemy encounters. Ground crew wearing AR glasses remotely collaborating with specialists across continents, troubleshooting glitches in real-time with the aid of shared, interactive XR experiences.

Imagine dissecting a complex rocket engine, guided by interactive overlays highlighting potential issues before launch. Or picture yourself collaborating with colleagues across continents in a holographic workspace, designing the next-generation aircraft. Extended Reality (XR) is poised to revolutionise not just science fiction, but the very core of A&D.

From Blueprints to Holographic Workspaces

Gone are the days of clunky headsets and pixelated screens. Think of all the innovation waiting in the wings to completely enhance the design and prototyping. The aerospace industry thrives on innovation, but traditional physical prototyping can be expensive and time-consuming. XR offers a game-changer. Imagine engineers interacting with 3D models in real-time, manipulating them in virtual space, and identifying design flaws or optimising performance virtually before expensive physical prototypes are built. Studies by Deloitte show that XR design tools can reduce prototyping costs by up to 70%, leading to faster innovation cycles and a competitive edge.

Revolutionising Training with Immersive Simulations

Piloting a multi-million dollar aircraft or performing intricate maintenance tasks require meticulous training. Traditional methods often lack the nuance and realism needed to fully prepare personnel for real-world scenarios. XR creates immersive simulations that replicate real-world scenarios with unparalleled fidelity, incorporating factors like G-force, turbulence and even simulated enemy encounters.

A study by the Air Force Research Lab found that pilots trained with VR flight simulators showed a 40% reduction in training time and a 30% improvement in mission performance compared to traditional methods. This translates to safer missions, reduced costs and improved operational readiness.

Streamlining Maintenance with Augmented Guidance

Downtime due to equipment failure is costly and can compromise mission success. With XR, technicians can wear AR glasses, receive real-time instructions and overlay critical information onto physical equipment. This remote collaboration and augmented guidance enables faster, more accurate repairs. A study by Boeing found that using AR for maintenance tasks reduced overall repair time by 30% and improved first-time fix rates by 20%. This translates to minimising downtime, optimising resource allocation and improving operational efficiency.

Logistics Transformed with Enhanced Precision

On top of all this, the A&D industry’s complex supply chains demand precision and efficiency, where AR can transform logistics and operations, through real-time inventory tracking, visualised warehouse layouts, and efficient picking and packing processes. Imagine technicians wearing AR glasses, guided through warehouses with inventory locations highlighted and picking routes optimised. This translates to faster deliveries, reduced errors and optimised resource allocation.

Challenges on the Horizon

Despite the potential, challenges linger. Cost and accessibility of technology, privacy concerns and the need for robust cybersecurity measures are valid hurdles. Additionally, integrating XR seamlessly into existing workflows and infrastructure requires careful planning and collaboration. Addressing these challenges requires a collaborative effort from industry leaders, policymakers and technology developers.

Partnerships Fueling Innovation

The Indian government recognizes the transformative potential of XR and is actively fostering its adoption in A&D. Ergo, the government allocated ₹475 crore (US$64 million) for the iDEX program in the 2023-24 budget, highlighting its commitment to fostering innovation in defence. Initiatives like Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) serve as collaborative platforms, bridging the gap between startups and defence forces.

This not only fast-tracks the infusion of innovative technologies into our nation’s defence capabilities but also empowers startups by offering financial backing, mentorship and resources. Additionally, the Make in India initiative promotes indigenous manufacturing, reducing external dependency and encouraging self-reliance. As of March 2023, the “Make in India” initiative has attracted foreign direct investment (FDI) worth ₹83,572 crore (US$111.9 billion) in the defence sector. Agile and innovative startups play a pivotal role in this journey, contributing to the development of cutting-edge defence technologies and products tailored to specific needs.

The Future is Immersive

The mass adoption of XR in A&D is not a question of “if,” but “when.” By embracing this transformative technology, we can ensure safer operations, more efficient training and accelerated innovation. The multiple collaborating initiatives with A&D professionals in the Indian government and the XR startups around the country hints towards the skies of the future – a future painted in the vivid colours of Extended Reality.

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Infineon introduces new Solid-State Isolators (iSSI) to deliver faster switching with up to 70 percent lower power dissipation

Wed, 02/28/2024 - 14:17

Today at the Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC), Infineon Technologies AG introduced a new product family of Solid-State Isolators (iSSI) to achieve faster and
more reliable circuit switching with protection features not available in optical-based solid
state relays (SSR). iSSI use coreless transformer technology and support 20 times greater
energy transfer with both current and temperature protection contributing to a higher
reliability and lower cost of ownership. The new iSSI allow driving the gates of Infineon’s
MOS-controlled power transistors OptiMOSTM and CoolMOSTM to reduce power dissipation
of up to 70 percent of todays’ solid-state relays using SCR (silicon-controlled rectifier) and
Triac switches.

Infineon’s solid-state isolators enable custom solid-state relays capable of controlling loads
more than 1000 V and 100 A. Improved performance and reliability make coreless
transformer technology ideal for applications in advanced battery management, energy
storage, renewable energy systems, as well as industrial and building automation system
applications. With iSSI drivers, engineers can further improve the efficiency of electronic
and electromechanical systems.

“Implementing coreless transformers in solid-state isolators and relays is truly a game-
changer for power engineers; it provides 50 times lower RDS(on) than existing optically controlled solutions. This enables their use in higher-voltage and higher power applications,” said Davide Giacomini, Marketing Director for the Green Industrial Power
Division at Infineon Technologies.

When matched with Infineon’s CoolMOS S7 switch, the iSSI drivers enable switching
designs with a much lower resistance compared to optically driven solid-state solutions.
This translates to longer lifespans and lower cost of ownership in system designs. As with
all solid-state isolators, the devices also offer superior performance compared to
electromagnetic relays, including 40 percent lower turn-on power and increased reliability
due to elimination of moving parts.

The family of devices is designed to be compatible with Infineon’s broad switching portfolio
including Infineon’s CoolMOS S7, OptiMOSTM and linear FET portfolios.

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Rohde & Schwarz and Samsung pave the way for adoption of secure ranging test cases defined by the FiRa Consortium

Wed, 02/28/2024 - 13:54

Rohde & Schwarz and Samsung have collaborated to verify secure ranging test cases for the ultra-wideband (UWB) PHY layer and assess the secure receiver characteristics of devices based on FiRa specifications. There are new test cases specified in the FiRa 2.0 Technical Specifications, which covers the prevention of physical layer attacks on secure ranging applications based on UWB technology. These test cases were verified with the R&S CMP200 radio communication tester from Rohde & Schwarz on Samsung’s latest UWB chipset.

Having passed the FiRa® Consortium validation process, the R&S CMP200 radio communication tester is a certified tool for FiRa 2.0 PHY testing. With the successful verification of physical layer security test casesRohde & Schwarz and Samsung contribute to making standardized ultra-wideband (UWB) applications more resilient to malicious attacks.

UWB has unique capabilities for secure fine ranging, based on accurate Time of Flight (ToF) estimation and relative position determination. Therefore, UWB-enabled devices can accurately and securely measure the distance and direction of connected devices. These capabilities make UWB an ideal technology for a wide range of use cases, such as untracked indoor navigation, social distancing, hands-free access, asset tracking, ticket validation, mobile payment, and point-and-trigger applications. The PHY Secure Ranging test cases specified in the FiRa 2.0 Test Specifications have now been implemented by Rohde & Schwarz and verified using Samsung’s latest UWB Chipset, representing another step forward in achieving an interoperable UWB ecosystem across chipsets, devices, and services infrastructures.

Rohde & Schwarz integrated UWB test capabilities into the R&S CMP200 radio communication tester, making it the only test platform on the market capable of R&D and production RF tests for both 5G mmWave / FR2 and UWB functions. It is ideal for addressing UWB test challenges during mass production as well as R&D. The tester combines the capabilities of a signal analyzer and signal generator in a single instrument. In combination with Rohde & Schwarz shielded chambers and automatization software WMT, the R&S CMP200 offers a complete solution for transmitter, receiver, ToF and Angle of Arrival (AoA) measurements in conducted and radiated mode, compliant to IEEE 802.15.4a/z specifications.

Christoph Pointner, Senior Vice President for Mobile Radio Testers at Rohde & Schwarz, says, “We at Rohde & Schwarz are committed to creating a safer and connected world. For us, providing the means to ensure that a new wireless technology is resilient to malicious attacks is of the highest priority. That’s why we are very happy to have collaborated with Samsung for early verification of the FiRa PHY Security Parameter feature.”

Joonsuk Kim, Executive Vice President of the Connectivity Development Team at Samsung Electronics, said: “Drawing on our experience in developing IEEE 802.15.4a/z standard-based UWB solutions, we are excited to collaborate with Rohde & Schwarz in our joint commitment to creating a safer, more interconnected world. This partnership not only ensures industry compliance with FiRa Certification but also offers robust guidance on interoperability among UWB devices equipped with the latest secure ranging features. Leveraging our leadership in UWB technology, we remain dedicated to delivering valuable services and user experiences.”

Rohde & Schwarz will showcase the R&S CMP200 radio communication tester with integrated UWB test capabilities at Mobile World Congress 2024 in Barcelona in hall 5, booth 5A80. For further information about the UWB test solutions from Rohde & Schwarz, go to: https://www.rohde-schwarz.com/uwb

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Rohde & Schwarz receives GTI Award 2024 for its 5G RedCap test solution

Wed, 02/28/2024 - 11:49

Rohde & Schwarz received the Innovative Breakthrough in Mobile Technology Award at GTI Awards 2024 for its R&S CMX500 radio communication tester’s support of RedCap testing from early R&D to certification and conformance. The GTI Awards takes place during the Mobile World Congress and recognizes industry achievements and successes in 5G development across a wide range of market segments.

The GTI Award is granted by the Global TD-LTE Initiative (GTI), an organization of leading global operators that has successfully supported the commercialization of TD-LTE and 5G NR networks and services. The Innovative Breakthrough in Mobile Technology Award is given to technologies based on how they meet the needs of GTI operators, as well as their innovativeness, benefits, market potential, sustainability and impact. Rohde & Schwarz received this award for its R&S CMX500 one-box tester (OBT), a leading test solution that covers the entire 5G Reduced Capability (RedCap) lifecycle.

RedCap is a 5G technology defined in 3GPP Release 17. As a reduced-functionality version of 5G, it has a significantly lower cost compared to 5G eMBB. It is characterized by mid-range data throughput, low power consumption, low complexity and the ability to support a large number of devices. This makes it particularly attractive for IoT applications.

The R&S CMX500 OBT verifies the various RedCap aspects specified in 3GPP 5G Rel.17 for R&D, certification and conformance testing. It covers network access restrictions, bandwidth parts (BWP) and bandwidth part switching, power saving and other protocol signalling procedures. The platform has also been enhanced to verify the proper operation of RedCap terminal devices in legacy networks.

Christoph Pointner, Senior Vice President of Mobile Network Testers at Rohde & Schwarz, who accepted the award during the ceremony on February 27, 2024, at MWC Barcelona, said: “We are honoured to receive the prestigious GTI Award for our R&S CMX500 one-box signalling tester for its comprehensive support of 5G RedCap technology. This recognition is a testament to our striving commitment to push the boundaries of mobile communications testing to meet the diverse needs of network operators and device manufacturers, paving the way for new technologies.”

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Infineon reorganizes sales and marketing to boost customer centricity and lead in application support

Wed, 02/28/2024 - 11:45

Infineon Technologies AG (FSE: IFX / OTCQX: IFNNY) is setting the course for ambitious growth by further strengthening and streamlining its sales organization. Starting 1 March, Infineon’s sales team will be structured around three customer-centric Sales Segments: Automotive, Industrial & Infrastructure and Consumer, and Computing & Communication. The DEM sales organization will retain responsibility for distributors and Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS). This new structure will further leverage the potential of Infineon’s comprehensive and diverse product portfolio by putting customers’ application needs at the center of the new organizational model. All of these organizations will be deployed globally with an optimized regional footprint.

“Customers’ expectations are quickly evolving and are driven by speed of innovation and faster time-to-market,” says Andreas Urschitz, Chief Marketing Officer of Infineon. “With a streamlined customer interface which brings the relevant products and application expertise to the customers’ doorstep, Infineon is ideally positioned to enable customers’ success.”

This simpler approach will give customers easier access to Infineon’s full portfolio and match their specific needs by offering complementary products from different divisions. In addition, this reorganization will reduce the number of interfaces for Infineon’s customers and help drive down time-to-market for their R&D projects enabled by Infineon semiconductors and solutions.

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Bright Ideas: Understanding Filament Bulbs

Wed, 02/28/2024 - 11:41

In the realm of lighting, one of the most iconic and enduring symbols is the filament bulb. While newer technologies have emerged, the filament bulb continues to hold a special place in our hearts and homes. In this blog, we delve into the world of filament bulbs, exploring what they are, how they work, their uses, and their advantages.

What is a Filament Bulb?

A filament bulb, also known as an incandescent bulb, is a type of light bulb that produces light by heating a thin tungsten wire filament to a high temperature until it glows. The filament is housed within a glass bulb filled with inert gas to prevent the filament from oxidizing and burning out too quickly.

How Does a Filament Bulb Work?

The principle behind the operation of a filament bulb is simple yet elegant. When an electric current passes through the filament, it encounters resistance, which causes the filament to heat up. As the temperature rises, the filament emits light in the visible spectrum, illuminating its surroundings.

Filament Bulb Uses

Filament bulbs have been a staple in lighting applications for over a century. While their popularity has waned with the advent of more energy-efficient alternatives, filament bulbs still find use in various settings, including:

  1. Decorative Lighting: Filament bulbs are prized for their warm, inviting glow, making them a popular choice for decorative lighting in homes, restaurants, and cafes.
  2. Vintage Aesthetics: With their classic design and nostalgic appeal, filament bulbs are often used in vintage-inspired interiors, adding a touch of old-world charm.
  3. Display Lighting: Filament bulbs are ideal for highlighting merchandise in retail displays, creating an attractive ambience that draws customers’ attention.
  4. Special Events: From weddings to outdoor parties, filament bulbs are a popular choice for creating a festive atmosphere, casting a warm and inviting glow over gatherings.

Filament Bulb Advantages

While filament bulbs may not be as energy-efficient as their LED counterparts, they still offer several advantages that make them a preferred choice in certain scenarios:

  1. Warmth and Ambiance: Filament bulbs emit a warm, soft light that closely resembles natural sunlight, creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere wherever they are used.
  2. Instant On: Unlike some energy-saving bulbs that require time to reach full brightness, filament bulbs provide instant illumination, making them ideal for areas where immediate light is needed.
  3. Dimmable: Many filament bulbs are dimmable, allowing users to adjust the brightness to suit their preferences and set the mood for different occasions.
  4. Affordability: Filament bulbs are often more affordable than LED bulbs, making them a cost-effective lighting solution for those on a budget.
  5. Compatibility: Filament bulbs are compatible with most standard fixtures, making them an easy and convenient replacement for traditional incandescent bulbs.

In Conclusion

While filament bulbs may no longer be the go-to choice for energy-conscious consumers, their timeless appeal and unique characteristics continue to make them a popular lighting option in many settings. Whether used for decorative purposes, vintage aesthetics, or special events, filament bulbs shine bright as a symbol of illumination’s enduring legacy.

 

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Integrated Motor Drivers For Efficient Real-Time Embedded Motor Control

Wed, 02/28/2024 - 11:19

Microchip Technology Inc. launches a new family of integrated motor drivers, leveraging its dsPIC Digital Signal Controllers (DSC). This innovative solution integrates a dsPIC33 DSC, a three-phase MOSFET gate driver, and an optional LIN or CAN FD transceiver into a single package. It provides a comprehensive solution for efficient, real-time embedded motor control in space-constrained applications.

This integration reduces the components needed for motor control system designs, leading to smaller PCB sizes and simplified design complexity. Particularly beneficial for automotive, consumer, and industrial applications where high performance and compact form factors are crucial.

Key Features Include:

  • Single power supply operation up to 29V (operation) and 40V (transient).
  • Internal 3.3V low dropout (LDO) voltage regulator for the dsPIC DSC.
  • Operating frequencies between 70—100 MHz, enabling high CPU performance for advanced motor control algorithms like field-oriented control (FOC).

Microchip supports the development and deployment of these integrated motor drivers with a comprehensive ecosystem of software and hardware tools. This includes development boards, reference designs, application notes, and the motorBench Development Suite V2.45, a free GUI-based software tool for FOC. Additionally, the dsPIC33CK Motor Control Starter Kit (MCSK) and the MCLV-48V-300W development board offer rapid prototyping solutions with flexible control options for various motor control applications.

Joe Thomsen, Vice President of Microchip’s Digital Signal Controllers Business Unit, highlighted the advantages of the new integrated motor drivers, stating, “By integrating multiple device functions into one chip, the dsPIC DSC-based integrated motor drivers can reduce system-level costs and board space, meeting the evolving demands for higher performance and reduced footprints in various designs.”

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Infineon unveils high-density power modules to enable benchmark performance and TCO for AI data centers

Wed, 02/28/2024 - 09:15

Artificial Intelligence is currently driving an exponential increase in global data generation, and consequently increasing the energy demands of the chips supporting this data growth. Today, Infineon Technologies AG launched its TDM2254xD series dual-phase power modules that enable best-in-class power density, quality and total cost of ownership (TCO) for AI data centres. The TDM2254xD series products blend innovation in robust OptiMOSTM MOSFET technology with novel packaging and proprietary magnetic structure to deliver industry-leading electrical and thermal performance with robust mechanical design. This lets data centres operate at a higher efficiency to meet the high power demands of AI GPU (Graphic Processor Unit) platforms while also significantly reducing TCO. 

Given that AI servers require 3 times more energy than traditional servers and data centres already consume more than 2 per cent of the global energy supply, it is essential to find innovative power solutions and architecture designs that further drive decarbonization. Paving the way for the green AI factory, Infineon’s TDM2254xD dual-phase power modules combine with XDPTM Controller technology to enable efficient voltage regulation for high-performance computing platforms with superior electrical, thermal and mechanical operation.

Infineon introduced the TDM2254xD series at the Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC). The modules’ unique design allows for efficient heat transfer from the power stage onto the heat sink through a novel inductor design that is optimized to transfer current and heat, thereby allowing for a 2 per cent higher efficiency than industry average modules at full load. Improving power efficiency at the core of a GPU yields significant energy savings at scale. This translates into megawatts saved for data centres computing generative AI and in turn leads to reduced CO2 emissions and millions of dollars in operating cost savings over the system’s lifetime. 

“This unique Product-to-System solution combined with our cutting-edge manufacturing lets Infineon deliver solutions with differentiated performance and quality at scale, thereby significantly reducing total cost of ownership for our customers,” said Athar Zaidi, Senior Vice President of Power & Sensor Systems at Infineon Technologies. “We are excited to bring this solution to market; it will accelerate computing performance and will further drive our mission of digitalization and decarbonization.”

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Saelig Company Unveils PicoScope 6428E-D – A Game-Changing High-Speed Oscilloscope

Tue, 02/27/2024 - 13:59

In a groundbreaking announcement, Saelig Company introduced the PicoScope 6428E-D, a cutting-edge four-channel high-speed oscilloscope. This innovative addition to Pico Technology’s renowned PicoScope 6000E Series boasts an impressive bandwidth of up to 3GHz and a remarkable maximum vertical resolution of 12 bits into 50ohm inputs. Featuring an unprecedented real-time sampling rate of 10GSa/s, the PicoScope 6428E-D sets a new standard for precision and performance in waveform analysis.

One of its standout features is its ability to accommodate larger than ±500mV input signals with external attenuators or probes specifically designed for 50ohm inputs. The device’s 4GSa buffer can hold up to two 200ms captures at the maximum sampling rate, facilitating the recording of multiple instances of complex signals under varying conditions. This capability is instrumental in quickly capturing high-frequency signals with unparalleled precision for detailed signal analysis. Moreover, the PicoScope 6428E-D can display single-shot pulses with an impressive 100ps time resolution, enabling users to uncover critical signal integrity issues such as timing errors, glitches, dropouts, crosstalk, and metastability issues.

Key Features:

  • 4 channels with four input ranges per channel (±50mV, ±100mV, ±200mV, ±500mV)
  • Up to 3GHz bandwidth
  • 100ps time resolution
  • 4GSa capture memory
  • Up to 10 GSa/s real-time sampling
  • 8-, 10-, or 12-bit flexible resolution (FlexRes)
  • Segmented memory/rapid block trigger
  • Built-in 50MHz 14-bit function generator/AWG
  • Fast transfer of captured data via USB 3.0 SuperSpeed connection
  • PicoScope software included, with drivers and SDK (Windows, Linux, Mac)
  • Programming examples for LabView, MATLAB, Python, and C++

Applications:

  • High-energy physics
  • Particle accelerators
  • LIDAR (light detection and ranging)
  • VISAR (velocity-interferometer system for any reflector)
  • Spectroscopy
  • Medical imaging
  • Semiconductor/Production test
  • Non-destructive testing

Designed for scientists, engineers, and researchers involved in high-speed applications, the PicoScope 6428E-D caters to the need for capturing, measuring, and analyzing sub-nanosecond waveform events. Whether used as a standalone instrument or integrated into a larger system, this oscilloscope offers unparalleled performance at a competitive cost. Unlike traditional benchtop mixed-signal oscilloscopes, which occupy significant bench space and are often financially out of reach for many engineers, the 6428E-D provides a cost-effective solution without compromising on quality. Additionally, users benefit from free software upgrades as new features become available.

Manufactured by Pico Technology, Europe’s award-winning test and measurement manufacturer, the PicoScope 6428E-D is now available through Saelig Company, Inc., their USA technical distributor.

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Microchip Launches New dsPIC DSC-Based Integrated Motor Drivers that Bring Controllers, Gate Drivers and Communications to a Single Device

Tue, 02/27/2024 - 10:45

A corresponding ecosystem of support tools will help simplify motor control system development and accelerate time to market

To implement efficient, real-time embedded motor control systems in space-constrained applications, Microchip Technology has launched a new family of dsPIC Digital Signal Controller (DSC)-based integrated motor drivers. These devices incorporate a dsPIC33 digital signal controller (DSC), a three-phase MOSFET gate driver and an optional LIN or CAN FD transceiver into one package. A significant benefit of this integration is reduction in component count of the motor control system design, smaller printed circuit board (PCB) dimensions and reduced complexity. The devices are supported by development boards, reference designs, application notes and Microchip’s field-oriented control (FOC) software development suite, motorBench Development Suite V2.45.

“Automotive, consumer and industrial designs are evolving and require higher performance and reduced footprints. These expectations often come at a higher expense and increase in dimensional size,” said Joe Thomsen, vice president of Microchip’s digital signal controllers business unit. “By integrating multiple device functions into one chip, the dsPIC DSC-based integrated motor drivers can reduce system-level costs and board space.”

The integrated motor driver devices can be powered by a single power supply up to 29V (operation) and 40V (transient). An internal 3.3V low dropout (LDO) voltage regulator powers the dsPIC DSC, which eliminates the need for an external LDO to power the device. Operating between 70—100 MHz, the dsPIC DSC-based integrated motor drivers provide high CPU performance and can support efficient deployment of FOC and other advanced motor control algorithms.

Development Tools

An extensive ecosystem of motor control software and hardware development tools helps make the design process faster and easier, reducing the customer’s time to market.

The dsPIC33CK Motor Control Starter Kit (MCSK) and the MCLV-48V-300W are two new dsPIC33-based integrated motor driver development boards that provide rapid prototyping solutions with flexible control options. The MCSK includes a dsPIC33CK low-voltage motor control development board, a 24V three-phase BLDC motor, an AC/DC adapter, a USB cable and other accessories. This cost-effective kit supports fast prototyping of motor control applications that operate between 12 and 48 VDC with up to 10 Amps of continuous current. The MCLV-48V-300W development board enables fast prototyping of three-phase permanent magnet synchronous motors that are rated between 12 and 48 VDC and capable of delivering up to 25A RMS continuous current per phase. This inverter board introduces a new modular concept where a separate dual-in-line module (DIM) is inserted into the board to configure it for a particular dsPIC DSC or MCU.

The motorBench Development Suite is a free GUI-based software development tool for FOC that accurately measures critical motor parameters, automatically tunes feedback control gains and generates source code by utilizing the motor control application framework (MCAF). The latest version, v2.45, includes a powerful new feature called zero-speed/maximum torque (ZS/MT), which enables designers to eliminate Hall or magnetic sensors while maximizing the torque output from the motor, from start-up and at low speeds. This feature can be used in pumps, power tools, e-Mobility and many other applications.

MPLAB Discover now contains many dsPIC DSC-based MATLAB Simulink models supporting various motor control algorithms and development boards. Microchip also provides free device blocks for Simulink that can be used to generate optimized code from models for dsPIC DSCs and other Microchip MCUs.

The growing number of dsPIC DSC-based motor control reference designs now includes an automotive cooling fan, low-voltage ceiling fan and a drone propeller controller. These reference designs shorten the time to market by providing a production-ready solution for various motor control applications. Typically, the board design files include schematics and a BOM, a board user’s guide and motor control source code that are available for download.

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Light + Building 2024: Naturally sustainable energy

Tue, 02/27/2024 - 09:24

Photovoltaic systems (PV systems) have a central role to play in providing sustainable energy for the future. From private balcony power plants to systems on the roofs of apartment buildings and commercial photovoltaic fields, subsidy programmes and legal simplifications are designed to accelerate the expansion of Europe’s energy systems. Thus, aspects of building-services technology, PV systems, energy storage and control, as well as systems integration, are set to gain significance at the coming Light + Building from 3 to 8 March 2024.

At Light + Building, the world’s leading trade fair for lighting and building-services technology, over 2,000 national and international manufacturers are getting ready to present both intelligent lighting systems and future-oriented home and building-services technology. The electrical infrastructure is a prerequisite for convenient home and building automation, efficient energy storage and management, the connection of PV systems and charging stations, as well as electrical heating systems.

“Trade fairs mirror markets. And Light + Building directly reflects the latest developments in the sector. In the field of building-services technology, the subjects of the source, independence and storage of energy have become increasingly important over recent years. Accordingly, these topics are also growing in significance at Light + Building with the number of exhibitors showing such products and services increasing and new companies discovering the world’s leading trade fair for themselves,” says Johannes Möller, Director of Brand Management Light + Building.

Solutions for increasingly important subjects, such as PV systems and energy storage, dominate Halls 11 and 12. 70 of the exhibitors there are experts for the subjects of e‑mobility and charging infrastructure while 45 companies present innovations and products for decentralised energy-supply systems and components. Ten of them are specialists in photovoltaic systems. The key players in Halls 11 and 12 include ABB, ABL, Amperfied, Bosch Thermotechnik, Compleo Charging Solutions, Fronius, Go-e, Hager, Hensel, Hepa Solar, Legrand, Mennekes, OBO Bettermann, Phoenix Contact, Schneider Electric, Siemens, SMA, Senec, Spelsberg, Walther-Werke, Weidmüller and Wieland.

With electrical engineering, home and building automation and connected safety and security technology (Intersec Building), the world of building-services technology is also to be found in Hall 9.

Knowledge transfer & networking: events spotlighting regenerative energies

The Building Plaza in Hall 9.0 is the meeting place for knowledge transfer, events and inspiration in the field of building-services technology. On Tuesday, 5 March 2024, the programme revolves around the subject of regenerative energies with numerous lectures and panel discussions being held under the motto ‘Storing and managing energy’. The programme continues on Wednesday and Thursday, 6 and 7 March 2024, with the first ‘Building in the Energy Transition’ congress. Under the heading ‘Light up the Future: Innovations for a sustainable energy supply in buildings and districts’, visitors can look forward to lectures, panel discussions and tours of the fair offering insights into the latest research from the field of sustainable energy supplies for buildings.

Light + Building – the World’s Leading Trade Fair for Lighting and Building Technology.

The Light + Building event will take place from 3 to 8 March 2024.

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Events to go: The variety of topics at Light + Building 2024 at a glance

Tue, 02/27/2024 - 09:20

Whether A for Architecture Day or Z for ZVEI Technology Forum – the range of events, specialist presentations and guided tours at Light + Building in Frankfurt am Main is huge. At the world’s leading trade fair for lighting and building-services technology from March 3 to 8, 2024, the abundance of events will ensure a plus in knowledge transfer and inspiration.

Light + Building is the international meeting place for manufacturers from the fields of lighting, electrical engineering, home and building automation and connected security technology from March 3 to 8, 2024. The focus is on solutions for the sustainable, safe and comfortable use of homes and buildings. A visit to the trade fair will be an experience thanks to the huge range of talks, specialist lectures, presentations and award ceremonies. Detailed information can be found in the Light + Building event calendar at: www.light-building.com/events

An overview of the wide range of events at Light + Building:

Focus: Architecture, light & design

Design Plaza Hall 3.1, Stand B50

Designer Annetta Palmisano from the bora.herke.Palmisano Style Agency will be presenting the 2024/25 trends for lighting design every day. The team will also be staging the three themes in a trend presentation in Hall 3.1 Stand F81.

On March 3, the stage will be under the sign of World Architects. The programme includes Talks + Tours with Sophia Klees at 11:00 a.m. and Prof. Andreas Schulz at 3 p.m. Further guided tours in English will take place on March 6 at 11 a.m. with Sabine De Schutter and at 2 p.m. with Ulrike Brandi.

The Designplus Awards by Light + Building will be announced in the afternoon at 1.30 p.m. In cooperation with Stylepark, a magazine & platform for architecture and design, Messe Frankfurt will present the awards. All award-winning products will be on display in a special show in the passageway of the foyer in Hall 5.1/6.1 for the entire duration of the fair. Stylepark will be exchanging ideas with selected winners of the Designplus Awards on stage on March 4. Another award ceremony will take place on March 4: the EK Service Group honours the ‘Retailer of the Year’.

Architonic editor-in-chief Simon Keane-Cowell from the DAAily platform group will explore the challenges and opportunities as well as the latest developments in the world of lighting design and planning in a series of entertaining interviews on March 5. Included will be some of the best international A&D practitioners. Outstanding works in the field of lighting design will be honoured with the German Lighting Design Award. The nominees for 2024 will be presented at Light + Building 2024. Another guest on the stage that day will be the Messe Frankfurt’s Italian subsidiary with the theme ‘Right to housing’.

The Design Plaza will be all about light and lighting topics when the Lighting Association of the German Electro and Digital Industry Association (ZVEI) takes to the stage on Wednesday, March 6. This will bring together lighting experts for roundtable discussions on the topics of sustainability, efficiency and digitalization.

For the first time, the IALD – International Association of Lighting Designers will also be a guest on stage on March 7, providing a day of high-quality content.

On International Women’s Day, March 8, the ‘Women in Lighting’ project will be celebrating its 5th anniversary at Light + Building. The theme for the stage programme in the morning is ‘Inspire Inclusion’. This will be followed by a networking session at lunchtime.

Exhibitor Stage@Light + Building, Hall 5.0, Stand B60

The experts for light and lighting will be in the spotlight on the Exhibitor Stage in Hall 5.0. For the first time, there will be alternating specialist lectures and presentations by exhibitors from March 4 to 7.

Focus: Technology & topics of the built world

Building Plaza, Hall 9.0, Stand D60

The leading content creators in the craft industry will come together live at the Power Creator Days on March 3 and 4. On stage, the online & social media world meets the trade fair action while content creators, visitors and exhibitors pedal together on charity bikes for energy generation. Messe Frankfurt converts the energy generated into a sum of money that is donated to a good cause.

MuP Verlag is organizing presentations on the topic of ‘Storing and managing energy’ on the stage on March 5. (lectures in German only)

The European industry organization REHVA will provide information on the topic of ‘Data Driven Smart Buildings’ at the Building Plaza on March 8.

BMWK areas with newcomers, Hall 9.0 / Hall 4.1

Entrepreneurial newcomers to the industry have a special place at Light + Building Autumn Edition. The Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) is organizing a joint stand in Hall 9.0 in the Electrical Engineering product area and in Hall 4.1 in the Technical Lighting product area.

E-House of the electrical trades, Hall 11.0 C07/D07

The focus of the ZVEH’s E-House in 2024 will be on the topics of ‘energy efficiency’, ‘sustainable energy supply’ and ‘smart health’. Among other things, it will showcase an integrated energy management system that incorporates a PV system, storage unit and heat pump as well as charging infrastructure for e-mobility. It controls the energy flows in the house according to the individual requirements of the residents.

Exhibitor Stage@Light + Building, Hall 11.0, FOY01

For the first time, there will be a stage for specialist lectures and presentations by exhibitors in the building area in Hall 11.0. From March 4 to 7, experts will take turns here to impart know-how on selected topics from the built world.

BIM by BTGA, Hall 11/Portalhaus, Via Ebene, Stand B02

The ‘BIM Cave’ will be at the centre of the trade fair appearance of the Federal Association of the Building Services Industry (BTGA) in 2024. To this end, the BTGA trade fair stand itself will become a BIM model. This gives visitors the opportunity to experience BIM live and discover the benefits of this digital planning method.

IEECB&SC and European ESCO Conference, March 6-7, Portalhaus

The 12th International Conference on Improving Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings and Smart Communities (IEECB&SC’24) and the European ESCO Conference will bring together all the key players in the field of commercial buildings and neighbourhood planning. The congress opens on March 6 and 7 from 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. in the Portalhaus on level Via, room Frequenz.

House of Energy, March 5/6, Portalhaus

‘Connecting sustainable technologies together’ is the motto of the annual House of Energy Congress on March 6 and 7 in the Portalhaus.

ZVEI Technology Forum, Hall 12.1

The electrification and digitalization of the building sector is the focus of the ZVEI Technology Forum. Experts from ZVEI member companies will take a manufacturer-neutral and cross-product look at innovative solutions and systems as well as changes to standards.

Light + Building – the world’s leading trade fair for lighting and building services technology. The next Light + Building opens its doors from 3 to 8 March 2024.

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Arrow Electronics and Infineon Collaborate to Accelerate Automotive Electrification

Tue, 02/27/2024 - 08:34

Arrow Electronics, Inc. and its engineering services company, eInfochips, are working with Infineon Technologies to help eInfochips’ customers accelerate the development of electric vehicle (EV) chargers.

Development of EV chargers, especially DC “fast chargers,” is becoming increasingly challenging to equipment manufacturers due to several factors, such as lack of prior experience, stringent functional safety and reliability requirements, and a fledgling support network. The collaboration between Arrow and Infineon aims to help innovators navigate these challenges while accelerating time-to-market.

As part of the collaboration, Arrow’s High Power Center of Excellence has developed a 30kW DC fast charger reference platform. This includes Infineon’s 1200V CoolSiC Easy power modules and also hardware design, embedded firmware, bi-directional charging support and energy metering functionality.

“Combining Arrow’s strength in components, engineering and design services with Infineon’s innovative products will help customers accelerate their design and speed to market in e-mobility applications,” said Murdoch Fitzgerald, vice president, global engineering and design services at Arrow. “Customers can rely on this collaboration to deliver innovative and leading edge DC faster chargers, accelerate and de-risk design cycles, and get access to a world-class support team enabling them to plan and manage their product roadmap and lifecycles.”

“Infineon is on a drive towards decarbonization and digitalization with our ecosystem partners, and this collaboration with Arrow is a testament to this mission,” said Shri Joshi, vice president of Green Industrial Power, Infineon Technologies Americas. “The joint 30kW DC fast charger reference platform, which includes Infineon’s latest power modules and devices, will help our customers bring more fast chargers to market as the future moves to electrical vehicles. We look forward to this ongoing collaboration to support our customer base.”

The first reference design from this collaboration, a production-grade 30kW DC fast charger reference development platform, is being demonstrated at the Applied Power Electronics Conference, Feb. 25-29, in Long Beach, Calif.

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ROHM’s EcoGaN has been adopted in the 45W Output USB-C Charger C4 Duo from Innergie, a brand of Delta

Tue, 02/27/2024 - 08:01

ROHM has announced the adoption of its 650V GaN device (EcoGaN) in the C4 Duo, a 45W output USB-C charger from Innergie, a brand of Delta. Delta is a global provider of IoT-based Smart Green Solutions headquartered in Taiwan. ROHM’s EcoGaN device contributes to greater application performance, reliability, and miniaturization by providing higher efficiency in power supply systems.

Efforts to save energy are accelerating toward achieving a sustainable society by reducing power loss, especially in equipment that handle high power. Furthermore, GaN devices that enable high-speed switching are being considered for power supplies, since high-frequency operation not only saves energy but also allows the use of smaller circuits.

Offering GaN-based devices under the brand name EcoGaN, ROHM is advancing product development and providing solutions by focusing on mastering the use of GaN, which has high potential but is difficult to handle. For discrete products, mass production of 150V withstand GaN HEMTs began in 2022 and 650V withstand GaN HEMTs in 2023 featuring industry-leading device performance (RDS(ON) × Ciss / RDS(ON) × Coss). What’s more, integrating an ESD protection element into the GNP1150TCA-Z improves ESD breakdown tolerance by approximately 75% over standard GaN HEMTs, and has been evaluated to improve application reliability that ultimately led its adoption.

Yuhei Yamaguchi, General Manager, Power Stage Product Development Dept., LSI Business Div., ROHM Co., Ltd.

We are pleased to have ROHM’s EcoGaN incorporated into USB-C chargers from Delta, a global leader in power and thermal management solutions. ROHM contributes to Delta’s prowess in high-energy power supplies by leveraging analog technology that maximizes power semiconductor performance and achieves superior topologies. Both companies share a similar management vision to realize a decarbonized and digital society, forming a strong partnership that resulted in the adoption of ROHM devices and ICs in Delta’s power circuit design. Furthermore, we look forward to our continued collaboration to promote greater miniaturization and efficiency in chargers and other products that can contribute to enriching people’s lives.

Jason Chen, General Manager, Innergie, a brand of Delta

The development of GaN power devices is a major focus in the global electronics industry, and therefore, we have deepened our collaboration with ROHM over the past several years. Moreover, in 2022, we initiated a strategic partnership to jointly develop next-generation power semiconductors for power supply systems. This partnership has delivered ROHM’s advanced 650V GaN (GNP1150TCA-Z) devices, which are now supporting Innergie’s new products. The C4 Duo is the first model from Innergie’s One for All Series adapters to use ROHM’s GaN devices, and we expect more models to adopt this state-of-the-art technology. We believe that, by strengthening our collaboration with ROHM, we will be able to provide customers adapters featuring higher power efficiency and capability, but with much smaller product size.

ROHM EcoGaN

Refers to ROHM’s new lineup of GaN devices that contribute to energy conservation and miniaturization by maximizing GaN characteristics to achieve lower application power consumption, smaller peripheral components, and simpler designs requiring fewer parts.

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India to Witness Major Boost in Semiconductor Industry with Two New Chip Fabs

Mon, 02/26/2024 - 11:16

In a significant development for India’s semiconductor industry, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrashekhar, announced plans for the establishment of two new semiconductor fabs alongside numerous chip assembly and packaging units. Tower Semiconductor from Israel and the Tata Group from India are set to invest billions in this initiative.

These multi-billion dollar fabs will operate with 65, 40, and 28-nanometer technology, marking a substantial advancement for India’s semiconductor capabilities. Additional proposals for packaging units are also in the pipeline, with approvals expected before or after the upcoming general elections.

Chandrashekhar, in an exclusive interaction with PTI, stated, “The names that you mentioned have submitted these big, very credible, very significant investment proposals. We see this happening in a very, very quick short term.”

This announcement follows the government’s receipt of 13 proposals for setting up ATMP (Assembly, Testing, Marking, and Packaging) units and four proposals for chip fabs. The government aims to secure $55 billion in semiconductor investments by 2026 and $110 billion by 2030.

Highlighting the neglected state of electronics and semiconductor manufacturing before 2014, Chandrashekhar noted a significant increase in in-house electronics manufacturing over the past decade. In FY 2022-23 alone, electronics manufacturing reached Rs 8.22 Lakh Crore (USD 102 billion), with projections indicating further growth to Rs 23,95,195 crore (USD 300 billion) by 2026.

Chandrashekhar emphasized India’s pivotal role in the global electronics market, citing the growth of mobile phone manufacturing in the country. “Three years ago, there were no Apple phones being manufactured in India. Today, we are exporting USD 10-12 billion worth of Apple and Samsung mobile phones,” he stated, underscoring India’s expanding presence in the sector.

The establishment of these new chip fabs signals a significant stride towards positioning India as a key player in the global semiconductor industry, fostering economic growth and technological advancement in the country.

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Technological Advancements in the Aerospace and Defence Sector – Integration of AI/ML into sensors, weapons and information systems designed for the Military

Mon, 02/26/2024 - 10:07

Author: Capt. Nikunj Parashar, Founder & CMD at Sagar Defence Engineering Pvt. Ltd. 

In recent years, the defence sector has witnessed a transformative wave of technological advancements, with a particular focus on integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) into various facets of military operations. The emergence of all-electric air mobility services, particularly in the form of personal aerial vehicles, represents a groundbreaking shift in the defence technology landscape. AI and ML technologies have rapidly become integral components of military systems, enhancing their capabilities across various domains. In the realm of sensors, these technologies enable more sophisticated data analysis, allowing for real-time threat detection and predictive maintenance. AI facilitates advanced targeting, autonomous decision-making, and improved accuracy so that information systems benefit from AI-driven analytics, providing commanders with actionable insights for strategic decision-making.

One of the most notable and exciting developments in the defence sector is the emergence of all-electric air mobility services. Personal Aerial Vehicles (PAVs), often referred to as urban air mobility (UAM) vehicles, represent a paradigm shift in transportation within military operations. These vehicles leverage electric propulsion systems, eliminating the need for traditional fuel and significantly reducing both operational costs and environmental impact while providing various services such as emergency medical evacuation, logistical support and reaching areas that cannot be accessed through traditional modes of aerial transport, saving cost and time.

The adoption of all-electric air mobility services in the military context offers several advantages. Firstly, these vehicles provide unparalleled flexibility and agility, allowing for rapid deployment and evacuation in challenging terrains or emergencies. The electric propulsion systems also contribute to stealth capabilities, reducing acoustic and thermal signatures compared to conventional aircraft. Moreover, personal aerial vehicles are designed to operate in urban environments, providing an additional layer of versatility for military operations in complex and densely populated areas. Their vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities eliminate the need for extensive runway infrastructure, enabling deployment from confined spaces, such as rooftops, landing zones and droneports. The integration of AI into these aerial platforms enhances their autonomy and safety features along with advanced navigation systems, obstacle detection, and collision avoidance capabilities, making these vehicles suitable for a wide range of military applications.

The Role of Drones in Border Security and Beyond

As the defence industry continues to push the boundaries of innovation, the integration of unmanned systems has become pivotal in providing robust and efficient solutions for safeguarding national borders. Borders present a unique set of challenges, demanding cutting-edge technologies to address the vast expanses of water in coastal regions and remote terrains in hilly areas. The defence industry recognizes the unparalleled capabilities of autonomous drones, whether they be Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or Unmanned Surface Vessels (USVs), in meeting these challenges head-on, offering comprehensive solutions for border surveillance.

Autonomous drones, equipped with state-of-the-art sensors and technologies, have become indispensable assets in the arsenal of defence systems. These unmanned maritime and aerial platforms operate seamlessly without direct human intervention, following pre-programmed routes or responding dynamically to emerging threats. The defence sector harnesses the autonomy of these drones to ensure continuous, systematic, and cost-effective monitoring of maritime borders as they are equipped with advanced sensors, high-resolution cameras and thermal imaging, enabling them to capture detailed and actionable intelligence about the maritime environment and difficult terrains, providing the capability to detect, track, and respond to potential threats in real-time, bolstering national security measures.

The real strength of autonomous drones lies in their ability to cover extensive areas swiftly, providing unparalleled situational awareness. The defence sector employs these systems to conduct thorough surveillance, identify suspicious activities, monitor vessel movements, and combat illicit operations such as smuggling and illegal fishing, facilitating rapid decision-making and response coordination. This not only enhances the safety of defence personnel but also ensures continuous surveillance capabilities, maintaining an unyielding presence along maritime borders.

Furthermore, the defence industry capitalizes on the versatility of autonomous drones, extending their applications beyond border security. The integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms enhances data analysis, allowing for the identification of complex patterns and potential threats with unprecedented accuracy. This proactive approach empowers defence agencies to stay ahead of emerging challenges and allocate resources effectively. The use of such technology represents a futuristic leap in military capabilities as these vehicles not only address operational challenges but also align with the growing emphasis on indigenization in developing defence technologies. As the defence sector continues to evolve, the integration of these cutting-edge technologies is shaping the future landscape of military operations.

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Understanding Car Trackers: Types, Working Mechanism, and Benefits

Mon, 02/26/2024 - 09:52

In today’s fast-paced world, technology has revolutionized various aspects of our lives, including how we monitor and safeguard our vehicles. One such advancement in vehicle security is the car tracker, a sophisticated device designed to provide real-time location information and other valuable data about a vehicle’s whereabouts. In this blog post, we’ll delve into what car trackers are, the different types available, how they work, and the benefits they offer to vehicle owners.

What is a Car Tracker?

A car tracker, also known as a GPS tracker or vehicle tracker, is a compact electronic device that utilizes the Global Positioning System (GPS) to determine the precise location of a vehicle in real time. It communicates this information to a central server or a designated user interface, allowing vehicle owners or authorized personnel to monitor the vehicle’s movements remotely.

Types of Car Trackers
  1. Hardwired Trackers: These trackers are directly connected to the vehicle’s power source and are usually installed discreetly within the vehicle’s electrical system. Hardwired trackers offer robust and continuous monitoring capabilities, making them suitable for long-term vehicle tracking.
  2. Plug-and-Play Trackers: Also known as OBD (On-Board Diagnostics) trackers, these devices are plugged into the vehicle’s OBD port, typically located under the dashboard. Plug-and-play trackers are easy to install and can be transferred between vehicles effortlessly, making them ideal for temporary tracking or rental fleets.
  3. Battery-Powered Trackers: These trackers operate on internal batteries and do not require a direct connection to the vehicle’s power source. Battery-powered trackers offer flexibility in installation and are often used in situations where covert tracking is required or in vehicles without a permanent power source.
How Does the Car Tracker Work?

Car trackers rely on GPS technology and cellular networks to transmit location data. Here’s a simplified overview of how they work:

  1. GPS Acquisition: The tracker receives signals from GPS satellites to determine its precise location coordinates.
  2. Data Transmission: The tracker then transmits this location data and other relevant information such as speed and direction to a central server or user interface via cellular networks.
  3. Remote Monitoring: Vehicle owners or authorized users can access this information in real-time through a web-based platform or a dedicated mobile app, enabling them to track the vehicle’s movements remotely.
Car Tracker Benefits
  1. Vehicle Security: Car trackers serve as a powerful deterrent against theft and unauthorized use by providing real-time location information. In the event of a theft, trackers facilitate quick recovery efforts, increasing the chances of recovering the stolen vehicle.
  2. Fleet Management: For businesses with a fleet of vehicles, trackers offer valuable insights into vehicle utilization, route optimization, and driver behaviour. This allows for better fleet management, improved efficiency, and cost savings.
  3. Insurance Discounts: Many insurance companies offer discounts to vehicle owners who install car trackers, which are considered a proactive measure to mitigate the risk of theft or loss.
  4. Peace of Mind: Knowing that their vehicles are equipped with trackers provides vehicle owners with peace of mind, especially when their vehicles are parked in unfamiliar locations or left unattended for extended periods.

In conclusion, car trackers are invaluable tools for enhancing vehicle security, optimizing fleet management, and providing peace of mind to vehicle owners. With various types available to suit different needs and preferences, investing in a car tracker can be a proactive step towards safeguarding your valuable assets on the road.

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Emerging solutions in all-electric air mobility service

Mon, 02/26/2024 - 09:50

Author: Ajay Kumar Lohany, Delivery Sr. Director- Aero & Rail, Cyient

With projections indicating a doubling of air passenger numbers to 8.2 million by 2037, the advancement of all-electric and hybrid-electric propulsion for powering Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) is evolving into a billion-dollar industry. Recent assessments by Rolls Royce suggest that approximately 15,000 Electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) vehicles will be indispensable across 30 major cities by 2035 solely to meet the demand for intracity travel. By 2030, top players in the passenger Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) sector could boast larger fleets and significantly more daily flights than the world’s biggest airlines. These flights, averaging just 18 minutes each, will typically carry fewer passengers (ranging from one to six, plus a pilot).

Source: Cirium; investor presentations; US Bureau of Transportation Statistics; McKinsey analysis

The increasing urbanization, expanding population, aging infrastructure, and the surge in e-commerce and logistics underscore the need for a contemporary, safe, and cost-effective transportation solution for both people and goods. Urban Air Mobility (UAM) presents a seamless, reliable, and swift mode of transportation, addressing present and future urban challenges. With the capacity to transform intra and inter-city transportation, UAM offers a quicker and more effective alternative to conventional ground-based transportation methods. The adoption of Urban Air Mobility hinges on five primary factors:

  • Growing demand for alternate modes of transportation in urban mobility
  • Need for convenient, efficient and last-mile delivery
  • Zero emission and noise-free mandates
  • Advancement in technologies (Energy storage, Autonomous, Connected, Power Electronics)
  • Security

Despite the growing Urban Air Mobility (UAM) sector, it faces significant challenges that need addressing for future growth and success. These challenges range from developing reliable electric propulsion systems to achieving autonomous flight capabilities and establishing necessary infrastructure like vertiports and charging stations. Overcoming these hurdles is vital for unlocking UAM’s transformative potential in urban transportation.

AI Integration for UAM Enhancement

Utilizing AI for predictive maintenance enables analysis of sensor data and onboard sources to forecast maintenance needs, reducing downtime and increasing aircraft availability. AI-enabled maintenance inspections allow for rapid issue identification through image analysis of eVTOLs and UAVs, minimizing errors and oversights. AI aids in making better decisions for aircraft maintenance support by thoroughly analyzing various considerations, likely leading to improved outcomes. Additionally, robotic systems equipped with AI algorithms can autonomously repair or replace minor parts, enhancing safety for maintenance teams. Moreover, AI facilitates better diagnostics and targeted troubleshooting, expediting issue identification and repair suggestions. Ultimately, proactive maintenance, data integration, and improved safety are promised by AI in UAM, ensuring aircraft are maintained effectively from takeoff to landing.

AI in Intelligent Cabin Management (ICMS)

The Intelligent Cabin Management System (ICMS), utilized in aviation and rail industries, undergoes continuous advancements fueled by emerging technologies. Enhanced facial recognition algorithms, driven by artificial intelligence (AI), significantly improve efficiencies and reliability in user authentication, behavior analysis, safety, threat detection, and object tracking. Moreover, ICMS prioritizes monitoring passengers’ vital signs onboard for health safety.

This solution ensures cabin operations with a focus on passenger safety, security, and health, suitable for various passenger cabins in aircraft and rail, and particularly ideal for UAM applications. It facilitates cabin entry by authorized crew and passengers, guides seating arrangements, enforces luggage placement regulations, ensures compliance with air travel advisories, monitors passenger behavior for preemptive intervention, identifies permitted and potentially threatening objects, flags left luggage, and detects vital health parameters for real-time monitoring and control.

AI in UAM Maintenance

AI-driven predictive maintenance involves analyzing sensor data and onboard sources to anticipate UAM maintenance needs, aiding in proactive scheduling and minimizing downtime. Similarly, AI-based inspections utilize image analysis to swiftly identify potential issues during regular checks, enhancing accuracy and reducing errors. Additionally, AI supports maintenance decision-making by analyzing various factors like repair costs and part availability, providing informed recommendations. Future advancements may see autonomous maintenance systems, powered by AI, performing routine tasks such as inspections and minor repairs, improving efficiency and safety. Furthermore, AI assists technicians in diagnostics and troubleshooting by analyzing data and historical records to pinpoint issues and suggest appropriate solutions, streamlining maintenance processes and ensuring UAM operational reliability.

Conclusion

The integration of AI into UAM maintenance offers numerous benefits that significantly enhance the efficiency, safety, and reliability of UAM operations. Through proactive maintenance enabled by AI’s predictive capabilities, maintenance teams can anticipate and address potential failures before they occur, reducing unplanned downtime and enhancing operational reliability. Furthermore, AI-supported maintenance increases aircraft availability, ensuring vehicles are consistently safe and reliable, thus contributing to higher customer satisfaction and overall operational performance.

Moreover, AI-driven maintenance optimization leads to cost reduction by accurately predicting maintenance needs and minimizing unnecessary inspections and component replacements, thereby reducing labor and material costs. Additionally, AI’s continuous monitoring of UAM vehicle conditions enhances safety by detecting anomalies or safety risks in real-time, preventing accidents and ensuring timely maintenance. Overall, the application of AI in UAM maintenance represents a transformative step towards a more efficient, safe, and reliable urban air transportation system.

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Precision at all Altitudes for Aerospace: Addressing the Challenges of Additive Manufacturing in Aerospace Production

Mon, 02/26/2024 - 09:38

Authored by: Mr. Aveen Padmaprabha, Head of Industrial Quality Solutions, Carl Zeiss India (Bangalore) Pvt. Ltd.

 

Mr. Aveen Padmaprabha, Head of Industrial Quality Solutions, Carl Zeiss India (Bangalore) Pvt. Ltd.

The aerospace industry in India is one of the fastest-growing sectors with an increasingly strong domestic manufacturing base. To gain further competitive advantage, the implementation of new technologies such as additive manufacturing has been gaining importance in the recent past. While this method leads to cost reduction of building low-volume parts, as well as enables the industry to challenge the limits of efficiency through extremely accurate and complex design executions, the quality challenges faced by these new manufacturing processes should also be thoroughly addressed. High-precision metrology solutions are not only an opportunity to optimize the manufacturing process but also offer valuable insight into material sciences and ensure the quality of the output.

Additive Manufacturing as an Opportunity in Aerospace

Air travel, a preferred mode of transportation, relies on aircraft parts meeting stringent quality standards. For instance, before a supplier commences production, up to 1500 inspection features of a turbine blade must be verified, adhering to tight tolerance ranges at every production step. Beyond this challenge, another is the vital maintenance and repair operations (MRO) which often involves replacing high-complexity, quality-intensive low-volume or single parts. Traditional manufacturing processes for MROs prove both time and cost-intensive, unable to meet the demanded complexity and accuracy efficiently. Consequently, additive manufacturing, specifically 3D printing, is increasingly integrated into the aerospace production chain in India, positioning the industry as a pioneer in additive manufacturing innovation. However, the adoption of this technology brings its own challenges, which our experience suggests can be effectively addressed through high-quality metrology solutions.

Hitting the Brake: The Process and Challenges of Additive Manufacturing

Powder is the building block of additively manufactured parts. The particles are small, typically ranging from a few micrometers to tens of microns in diameter. Their size distribution and shape influence spread ability and hence possible defects might occur during the process. The defect density is among other aspects and also a factor for the recycling and aging of the powder. A uniformly distributed powder bed is the essential basis for a stable and reliable additive manufacturing process. Improper powder quality, powder rheology and the process parameters might cause voids to form in the final structure. The additive manufacturing process, unlike traditional manufacturing methods, requires powders to be melted layer by layer during the build. Melt temperatures and process parameters greatly affect the crystallography and, as a consequence, part properties. After printing, the part is still attached to the build plate. It is then heat-treated for stress relief and removed from the build plate with a band saw or wire EDM. Some parts are then heat treated again for microstructure changes. These processes possibly influence the characteristics and accuracy of the part, impacting the quality and safety. Post which, Dimensional accuracy and surface finish are critical to ensure proper assembly and consistent matching across multiple parts. Even though additive manufacturing is an immense opportunity since it enables an unprecedented control over material microstructures. Analyzing and understanding these structures is key for an efficient and optimized process that ensures the demanded quality and safety.

Precision at all Altitudes: Overcoming the Challenges

Utilizing cutting-edge measurement and inspection equipment is crucial for meeting aerospace parts’ sophisticated requirements. Our metrology solutions support and can be implemented throughout the manufacturing process, enabling immediate corrective actions, ensuring high-quality output, and promoting sustainable resourcing. We employ Light or Electron Microscopes and CT for continuous powder characterization, identifying sources of quality issues in the powder bed during or after printing. Defective parts can be detected and fixed during the build, avoiding downstream costs and increasing yield. Optical 3D-scanners, Coordinate Measuring Machines, and high-resolution CT validate accuracy, inspect finished parts, and analyze internal structures, contributing to defining optimal settings for future processes. The comprehensive data analysis across the process chain, facilitated by metrology devices equipped with IoT and PiWeb software by ZEISS, ensures correlation and supports an efficient and optimized process. Investing in high-quality metrology and research equipment is indispensable for ensuring safety and quality in the aerospace industry, particularly as ‘Make in India’ propels the sector’s growth, with additive manufacturing playing a vital role in material science and process optimization.

ZEISS, as a key global provider, plays a pivotal role with its Blue Line process, contributing to the industry’s success through precise metrology and quality solutions. Moreover, the company’s commitment to excellence extends beyond mere provision, as it actively engages in collaborative ventures. The company’s globally unique application lab not only facilitates joint customer projects and scientific studies but also serves as a dynamic hub for hands-on demonstrations. This collaborative approach fosters a rich environment for learning and knowledge distribution, ensuring that the aerospace industry benefits not only from cutting-edge technology but also from shared insights and collective expertise.

In my opinion, the aerospace industry in India stands at the forefront of innovation and technological advancements, embracing additive manufacturing as a crucial element in its production chain. By leveraging cutting-edge measurement and inspection equipment throughout the entire manufacturing process, the industry can achieve immediate corrective actions, increase yield, and streamline resource utilization. With continued investments in high-quality metrology and research equipment, the aerospace sector can ensure the safety and quality of its intricate and complex components, further solidifying its position as a leader in technological innovation.

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