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Toshiba Electronics Europe Innovation Centre

Welcome to the Toshiba innovation centre, the place where your big ideas become our reality. We know that innovation is the lifeblood of business, and that is why here at the Toshiba Innovation Centre we are constantly striving to answer all your questions about our technologies, to make it easier for you to place them at the heart of your innovations.

Design example of multi-function biomedical wearable device More

Wearables: Delivering enhanced user experience through advanced, power-efficient graphics

The user interface is one of the major ways for portable electronics manufacturers to differentiate their products – with well rendered graphical content proving invaluable to the user experience. Now, as we move into the wearables era, effective implementation of graphical interfaces is more important than ever. However, implementing functionality that consumers expect within a wearable device raises all manner of power issues. A key issue for wearables designers is how to deliver high-quality graphics with maximum power efficiency.  More...

How to improve motor control and efficiency using FOC More

How to improve motor control and efficiency using FOC

Electric motors are one of the largest consumers of power electronic designs. International environmental directives, commercial considerations and customer expectations mean that driving motors in a way that is as energy efficient as possible is a major consideration for engineers.  More...

Wearables: Delivering enhanced user experience through advanced, power-efficient graphics More

Wearables: Delivering enhanced user experience through advanced, power-efficient graphics

The user interface is one of the major ways for portable electronics manufacturers to differentiate their products – with well rendered graphical content proving invaluable to the user experience. Now, as we move into the wearables era, effective implementation of graphical interfaces is more important than ever. However, implementing functionality that consumers expect within a wearable device raises all manner of power issues. A key issue for wearables designers is how to deliver high-quality graphics with maximum power efficiency.  More...

Automobile rear-view camera technology set to play major role in improving road safety More

Automobile rear-view camera technology set to play major role in improving road safety

With advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) technology fundamental to the long-term goal of autonomous driving, opportunities for automotive imaging applications are growing rapidly. One area where there is currently significant activity is rear-view cameras – thanks both to the advantages they offer and legal requirements to make them mandatory on new vehicles.  More...

How to improve write performance with Embedded Multimedia Cards (e•MMC™) More

How to improve write performance with Embedded Multimedia Cards (e•MMC™)

NAND flash memory is now used extensively in applications in the consumer, industrial and automotive sectors. In contrast to "raw" NAND flash memory solutions that contain only the flash memory itself, e•MMC combines the flash memory and the corresponding controller in a single package.  More...

Display Compression Technology for Consistent Rendering - Regardless of Device More

Display Compression Technology for Consistent Rendering - Regardless of Device

Figures recently published by Atlas suggest that, in many economies, by 2019 the average number of connected devices per head of the population will have almost doubled from what it was five years earlier. In North America the number of connected devices each person used on average was 6.1 in 2014, but this is projected to rise to 11.6 by 2019. This trend is being seen here in Western Europe too, with the average going up from 4.4 to 8.2 in the same period of time.  More...

Why new superjunction developments are delivering cooler, more efficient MOSFETs More

Why new superjunction developments are delivering cooler, more efficient MOSFETs

Superjunction MOSFETs have become favoured solutions for energy-conscious designers. Through semiconductor process advances, modern devices allow smaller die sizes for the same MOSFET on-resistance, enabling designers to reduce circuit size and increase current density.  Improved fabrication processes, such as the single-epitaxial fabrications enabled by deep trench filling, give greater freedom to optimise N- and P-channel aspect ratios thereby minimising on-resistance and reducing MOSFET size.  More...

How to speed ADAS designs with a reversing camera reference design More

How to speed ADAS designs with a reversing camera reference design

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), reversing cameras will substantially reduce injuries and deaths, especially among children. And rear-view technology is changing - rear-view video feeds are becoming intelligent systems that identify potential obstructions in real time - even when the vehicle is in motion. The camera itself is becoming a key element in the wider ADAS system.  More...

Automotive power: How MOSFET packaging can help solve vehicle electrification challenges More

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Semiconductor package performance improvements increase reliability as well as enabling higher peak-current ratings and greater current density for high-power applications. Traditional power MOSFET package current-carrying capabilities are limited by the internal wirebonds. These generate heat and are a common point of failure. To address this Toshiba have developed a revolutionary copper clip structure for MOSFET packages, enabling automotive systems that deliver greater performance while managing the associated thermal issues.  More...

Using Intelligent Phase Control (InPAC) to deliver low noise and optimized motor efficiency More

Using Intelligent Phase Control (InPAC) to deliver low noise and optimized motor efficiency

Our lives are becoming increasingly automated and motors are at the heart of this trend - powering everything from electric fans, pumps in air conditioners and refrigerators to controlling the moving parts in devices such as printers. Yet, with the increasing use comes a requirement to reduce both the energy used and the acoustic noise of motion control solutions.  More...

How to Remove the Limitations of Software Solutions for Motor Control More

How to Remove the Limitations of Software Solutions for Motor Control

Motors convert electrical energy into movement that can be used to make things, move things, cool things and much more. They are a large energy user and the greatest potential efficiency improvements lie in the way in which motors are driven.  There are many approaches for controlling motors. Field Oriented Control (FOC), sometimes known as Vector Control, is a mathematical approach that overcomes the poor low-speed accuracy of trapezoidal control while addressing the high-speed inefficiency of sinusoidal control.  More...

Advanced graphics in a highly integrated low power wearable solution More

Advanced graphics in a highly integrated low power wearable solution

Today’s high-end wearables such as smart watches are characterized by a sophisticated graphical user interface (GUI) that often includes touch operation. Until now, this functionality has been power-hungry, reducing useful battery life of these essential devices. However, the game has changed with the latest addition to Toshiba Electronics Europe's line-up of ApP LiteTM application processors.  More...

How 3D reconstruction for enhanced object recognition improves road safety More

How 3D reconstruction for enhanced object recognition improves road safety

The breadth of camera and image processing hardware and supporting software incorporated into car models is increasing dramatically. Market research firm Yole, for example, predict that the market for automotive cameras alone will be worth at least $7 billion annually by the end of this decade. Such technology offers real opportunities for reducing the number of accidents on our roads and minimising the risk of driver error through more effective automated response mechanisms.  More...

Bright, Beautiful, Great and Small - Displays Compression Algorithms Address Device Diversity More

Bright, Beautiful, Great and Small - Displays Compression Algorithms Address Device Diversity

Items of consumer electronics equipment are now being supplied in an expansive array of different form factors (from large high-definition flat panel televisions, through to tablet computers and smartphones, right down to smaller formats like smart watches). The sort of activities that users want to engage in, whether it is interacting on social media, sharing photos or playing games, need to be equally applicable regardless of the device employed. Most importantly of all users want to be able watch video material from whatever device they chose, wherever they are without having to compromise on the quality of the experience.  More...

How to improve power conversion performance with new MOSFET technologies More

How to improve power conversion performance with new MOSFET technologies

To meet the demand for increasing energy efficiency in switching power conversion systems, superjunction MOSFETs have become preferred devices for energy-conscious designers. Superjunction technologies allow reduced die sizes enabling designers to reduce space and increase current density. However, new demands are coming to the fore, such as improved noise performance.  More...

Using NFC and Bluetooth® to support new 'Beacon' use cases More

Using NFC and Bluetooth® to support new 'Beacon' use cases

Combining near-field communication (NFC) with Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE) wireless communications offers new possibilities and enhanced levels of flexibility for portable electronics. And one application area that could benefit from the integration of these two communications methods is that of 'beacon' technology.  More...

Optimising MOSFET performance – chip and package More

Optimising MOSFET performance – chip and package

The ongoing drive to improve power conversion performance while reducing system size and thermal dissipation is at the heart of today’s MOSFET development. And to achieve this, semiconductor manufacturers must consider both the underlying semiconductor processes and the packaging technology.  More...

MOSFETS: Improving power switching, reducing noise More

MOSFETS: Improving power switching, reducing noise

Alongside efficiency, thermal management and size, designers of power conversion applications need to consider switching speeds and EMI-related noise. The good news is that the latest MOSFET technologies not only reduce power consumption and heat dissipation – they also contribute to enhanced switching performance and reduced noise.  MOSFETs based on Toshiba’s latest UMOS VIII-H trench process, for example, offer excellent switching ripple suppression capability, which helps designers to reduce overall EMI noise.  More...

Bluetooth and NFC solution to secure, convenient device pairing suits wearables and IoT More

Bluetooth and NFC solution to secure, convenient device pairing suits wearables and IoT

The pairing of different items of electronic hardware, so that information or content can be shared, is becoming increasing important. There are two fundamental requirements for pairing that need to be observed if this operation is to be fully effective.  Firstly, pairing must be simple for the user to manage. Secondly, pairing must factor in a high degree of security to mitigate the risk of data being obtained by unauthorised parties.  More...

What is the best memory choice for reliability and performance? More

What is the best memory choice for reliability and performance?

Portable devices such as smartphones, tablets and cameras rely on NAND flash memory for data storage. However, not all memory is created equal. Price-sensitive consumer applications, for example, typically use memories that store multiple data bits per cell. MLC (Multi-Level Cell) stores two bits per cell and TLC (Triple-Level Cell) stores three bits per cell, thus creating the low-cost, high-density, memory that makes modern devices affordable.  More...

FFSA™ looks to plug the expanding technology gap between ASICs and FPGAs in order to provide a better match for mid-volume custom SoC requirements More

FFSA™ looks to plug the expanding technology gap between ASICs and FPGAs in order to provide a better match for mid-volume custom SoC requirements

When looking to implement a custom system-on-chip (SoC), and thereby benefit for the operational advantages that this offers over an off-the-shelf IC, product developers have been faced with two different routes to follow. Firstly, they could choose to have an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) designed. This approach results in a high performance, power efficient solution with a low unit cost, but requires considerable upfront financial outlay, relatively long development times and large unit volumes via which to recoup the investment made.  More...

Innovations in Automotive Image Recognition/Processing Technology will lead the way to an autonomous future More

Innovations in Automotive Image Recognition/Processing Technology will lead the way to an autonomous future

The automobile industry is steadily progressing towards an era where autonomous vehicles will become commonplace. Research conducted by Reuters indicates that technology relating to automated/assisted driving will represent around $25 billion in annual revenue by the end of this decade (almost 4x its current worth). This is based on the fact that several leading car manufacturers, including BMW, Audi, Toyota and Tesla, plus technology firms like Google, have all stated that they expect the rollout of autonomous vehicles to begin in earnest in the 2021 timeframe.  More...

e•MMC Memory Destined for Greater Use Thanks to Strong Data Integrity Characteristics More

e•MMC Memory Destined for Greater Use Thanks to Strong Data Integrity Characteristics

New features and elevated levels of functionality are continuously being incorporated into contemporary electronic goods, in relation to everything from modern domestic appliances right through to the latest generations of portable devices. There has, in response, been heightening demands placed on the data storage resources allocated to support them. The emergence of new applications, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), smart metering, remote patient monitoring and home automation, will only serve to exacerbate this problem still further.  More...

Role of HV-IPD Technology in Boosting Efficiency of Modern Household Appliances for a More Energy Aware Society More

Role of HV-IPD Technology in Boosting Efficiency of Modern Household Appliances for a More Energy Aware Society

Where as in the past it was aspects like the external aesthetics or the retail cost that would influence purchasing decisions when it came to household appliances (such as refrigerators, dish washers, washing machines, etc.), now it is the energy rating that often proves to be the overriding priority. Thanks to the introduction of the EU Energy Label program, consumers have become more aware of the reduced running costs that installing more energy efficient appliances, with variable speed operation, will bring - thereby allowing them to curb their utility bills.  More...

More Effective Fall Detection Using Wrist-Worn Technology More

More Effective Fall Detection Using Wrist-Worn Technology

Advances in healthcare mean that the western world has an elderly population that is significantly growing in number. This demographic segment now represents a larger proportion of society, as people’s life expectancies have become more prolonged than they were in previous generations. Rather than being in care homes, many senior citizens want to reside in their own accommodation for as long as possible and thus enjoy a better quality of life.  More...

In search of a quieter life - combatting noise and vibration via innovations in motor control More

In search of a quieter life - combatting noise and vibration via innovations in motor control

To meet the pressing need for elevated levels of energy efficiency, the conventional direct current (DC) motors incorporated into electric fans, domestic appliances, air conditioning systems, office equipment and such like, have over time been replaced by more sophisticated three-phase brushless DC (BLDC) motors. This has enabled compliance with the stringent international environmental guidelines that have now emerged, as well as helping to reduce the size of utility bills.  More...

The real evolution behind the driverless car revolution More

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There is no doubt that the revolution in personal transportation is coming - driverless cars will be the future. This revolution-in-the-making has been coming for some time, millions if not billions of dollars have been spent and there is much more research, development and most importantly, testing and proving to come.  More...

Using integrated drivers to deliver functional safety in automotive motor control? More

Using integrated drivers to deliver functional safety in automotive motor control?

More and more automotive applications now employ motors for enhanced automation – in areas such as locking mechanisms, mirror adjustment and parking, cooling fans and so on. And while problems with these systems would be a nuisance, in most cases they would not have a significant impact on safety.  More...

Looking for a Custom SoC Alternative to ASICs and FPGAs? More

Looking for a Custom SoC Alternative to ASICs and FPGAs?

Developers of custom system-on-chip (SoC) solutions have traditionally had to decide whether to choose ASIC or FPGA technologies to implement their design.  The trade-off for ASICs is the increasingly high non-recurring engineering (NRE) costs and long implementation times versus the advantage of delivering fully tailored silicon that will offer the best performance and the lowest power dissipation from the smallest possible die size.  In the case of FPGAs, the benefits of lower up-front costs and shorter implementation times must be weighed against higher unit costs, larger device size and increased power dissipation.  More...

Ethernet-based in-vehicle networking shows it credentials in relation to automotive infotainment More

Ethernet-based in-vehicle networking shows it credentials in relation to automotive infotainment

Figures produced by Yano Research indicate that the number of automotive communication nodes deployed annually will have gone through an almost tenfold rise from the start to the end of this decade. The advent of the ‘connected car’, which has been widely publicised, means that greater communication capabilities now need to be incorporated into automobile designs.  More...

Combatting Heat Dissipation Issues as Higher Density Power Systems are Deployed More

Combatting Heat Dissipation Issues as Higher Density Power Systems are Deployed

Rapidly escalating power densities in semiconductor devices are being expected in order to provide consumers with sleeker, more attractive electronic products that possess greater functionality while also supporting longer periods between recharges. As a result, the specification of key elements of the power system, such as MOSFETs, must be given substantial consideration, so that well-reasoned procurement decisions are made.  More...

How to Use Bluetooth® and NFC for Secure Out of Band (OoB) Pairing More

How to Use Bluetooth® and NFC for Secure Out of Band (OoB) Pairing

When combined with near field communications (NFC) technology, Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE - also known as Bluetooth Smart), the power-conserving incarnation of Bluetooth opens up a number of new opportunities for designers of IoT and other smart devices.  One of these opportunities is secure, ‘Out of Band’ (OoB) pairing.  More...

Processes enable higher efficiency in motion control More

Processes enable higher efficiency in motion control

Given the rapid growth in the use of small motors in automotive applications such as throttle bodies, locking mechanisms, cooling fans, seat positioning, mirror parking and so on, it is not surprising that much semiconductor research and development is focused on motor driver technology.  System designers (and consumers) are seeking simple, compact and reliable solutions that drive ever-higher levels of integration in semiconductor devices. Efficiency is another significant focus area, either due to rising energy costs or the limited availability of power (in a battery-powered application for example).  More...

Implementing Smarter Motor Control Technology to Address Changing Industrial Landscape More

Implementing Smarter Motor Control Technology to Address Changing Industrial Landscape

Industrial systems are evolving as new technologies come to the fore. The opportunity for high degrees of connectivity will mean that equipment is furnished with greater capabilities in relation to how various items communicate with one another. It will also bring about greater autonomy and faster responsiveness. The introduction of what is widely referred to as Industry 4.0 means that the motors incorporated into industrial hardware will need to exhibit more advanced and energy efficient drive technology.  More...

Ethernet Based Communication Set to be Foundation of Automobile Infotainment Systems More

Ethernet Based Communication Set to be Foundation of Automobile Infotainment Systems

The car models now being developed and manufactured are very different from previous generations.   Incorporation of increasingly sophisticated functionality (in terms of navigation, telematics and entertainment) mean it would no longer be correct to consider them as simply a mode of transport. Though this is still clearly their primary purpose, they now possess various other attributes as well. Many of these reflect the complex digitally-enhanced lifestyles we lead elsewhere - while we are in work, in public places, in our homes, etc.  More...

Advanced MOSFET technology improves fuel economy in automotive applications More

Advanced MOSFET technology improves fuel economy in automotive applications

Gone are the days when the electrical systems in a car were a few gauges, a wiring loom and a couple of fuses. Nowadays, electronics and the associated firmware are so fundamentally embedded in our vehicles. Many of the functions we now take for granted simply would not exist without the technology.  More...

Satisfying Automobile Industry’s Demands for More Effective Motor Control Solutions More

Satisfying Automobile Industry’s Demands for More Effective  Motor Control Solutions

The prevalence of electric motors in automotive designs is increasing considerably, as a substantial proportion of modern vehicles’ functionality is migrated away from traditional mechanical implementations towards modern streamlined electronic implementations - in order to reduce weight and thereby improve fuel economy. Among the areas where electric motors are now seeing widespread deployment are in fuel/oil/water pumps, exhaust gas recirculation systems and electric power steering systems.  More...

How MOSFET technology will boost the effectiveness solar energy installations More

How MOSFET technology will boost the effectiveness solar energy installations

According to market analysis conducted by IHS, by the end of this year the world’s total installed photovoltaic capacity with be over 310GWatts - that is 8 times what it was at the start of the decade. GlobalData predicts by 2025 this capacity will have more than doubled again, reaching 652GWatts.  With demand for solar technology continuing to grow, and the conversion efficiencies of photovoltaics still relatively low (though gradually increasing), there is an ongoing need to minimise the power losses of the supporting electronics (and thereby make full use of the converted energy).  More...

The era of Industry 4.0 will be dependent on implementation of smarter motion control More

The era of Industry 4.0 will be dependent on implementation of smarter motion control technology

It is clear that the emergence of Industry 4.0 will have a major impact on the way in which industrial processes are carried out. Thanks to the implementation of advanced connectivity, it will be possible to make manufacturing facilities more efficient, as items of machinery will be able communicate with one another with greater effectiveness and thus be better coordinated. The consequences of all this will be ... more

How to protect analogue circuits using isolation amplifiers More

How to protect analogue circuits using isolation amplifiers

Much like the break pieces that are used to separate sections of a domino rally, optical isolation is used to separate different sections of an electrical circuit.  Why would you want to separate parts of a circuit? Well, the galvanic isolation provided by an optical isolator can protect sensitive components from potentially damaging high currents or voltages. Such isolation can also be useful for protecting sensors from interference or signal grounding problems.  More...

The role of TransferJet™ in enabling industrial communication with higher degrees of reliability and security More

The role of TransferJet™ in enabling industrial communication with higher degrees of reliability and security

By combining the simplicity and user convenience associated with Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology along with data transfer capabilities that outperform both Wi-Fi wireless and USB 2.0 wired connectivity options, TransferJetTM has proved highly attractive for implementation in a broad spectrum of different consumer applications. Among the most prominent of these are smartphones, digital cameras, set-top boxes and TVs. It should be noted though, that the scope of TransferJet can go far beyond that and this particular communication standard has the potential to address a wide variety of industrial applications too.  More...

Ability to maximize power budget while supporting greater functionality is set to be the key differentiator in wearable technology More

Ability to maximize power budget while supporting greater functionality is set to be the key differentiator in wearable technology

There is no question that the potential for wearable devices is huge. Figures produced by CCS Insight estimate that by 2020 there will be 411 million smart wearable devices shipped, with a total value of approximately $34 billion. Among the many areas where it is going to see considerable traction over the next few years will be healthcare and sports performance measurement (fitness trackers for example). The devices developed for both these applications will incorporate sensors for monitoring physical parameters, like temperature, pressure, pulse rate, etc. They will also be able to connect (normally via some type of wireless protocol) with items external hardware (laptops, tablets, etc.) for analysis purposes.  More...

The Ongoing Evolution of e•MMC™ Memory More

The Ongoing Evolution of e•MMC™ Memory

The embedded multimedia card (e•MMC™) format has seen considerable uptake in a wide range of portable consumer products (smartphones, smart watches, etc.) and other embedded system designs. Global Industry Analysts Incorporated has predicted that in excess of 2.1 billion units will be shipped annually by 2020. Each e•MMC integrates a flash memory and a memory controller within a single package. As the interface between the memory and its controller are already addressed, it presents a highly intuitive plug-and-play data storage solution.  More...

BLE & NFC prove instrumental to widespread IoT deployment More

BLE & NFC prove instrumental to widespread IoT deployment

The advent of Internet of Things (IoT) technology is expected to have a huge impact on modern society, bringing with it a whole new era of connectivity that could radically change the way we lead our lives. It will enable us to engage with technology all around us to an elevated degree - resulting in the sharing of far greater quantities of data and more comprehensive control. Among the consequences of this will be increased productivity in factories, better healthcare, more sophisticated home automation, etc.  More...

How to use TransferJet™ for secure, reliable communication in industrial applications More

How to use TransferJet™ for secure, reliable communication in industrial applications

Since it was first demonstrated in 2008, TransferJetTM has found many applications within consumer applications – including smartphones, set-top boxes, televisions and cameras. However, the standard offers many benefits, many of which make it an ideal technology for non-consumer applications.  More...

Realizing benefits through full integration of smart gate-drivers More

Realizing benefits through full integration of smart gate-drivers

Motors are everywhere in the modern world - especially in HVAC equipment, light industrial drives and small appliances. Inverter-based variable-speed motor drives are well established in high-power systems and bring clear energy saving benefits. Now, vendors of lower power systems are now seeking to implement this architecture to improve efficiency.  More...

Sports Innovated: Making wearable electronics to keep pace with demands of fitness performance monitoring More

Sports Innovated: Making wearable electronics to keep pace with demands of fitness performance monitoring

The role that technology can play in relation to improving our health and wellbeing is more pronounced now than it has ever been before - and, over the coming years, wearable technology is set to contribute to this still further. Not only will it help improve the quality of life for patients suffering with medical conditions, but it will also allow us to take steps improve our health and thereby reduce the chances of such conditions arising.  More...

Energy efficiency becomes the new battleground for wearables More

Energy efficiency becomes the new battleground for wearables

Demand for wearable devices is growing rapidly, driven by the benefits promised by their ability to readily collect, analyse and display health and environmental information. Annual revenues from the wearable sector are expected to ramp up considerably over the next decade, hitting the $70 billion mark by 2025, if IDTechEx forecasts prove correct.  More...

Why Ethernet Holds the Key to Data Hungry Automotive Infotainment More

Why Ethernet Holds the Key to Data Hungry Automotive Infotainment

The role of the car is changing. Until now, it has been a means of getting from A to B in style, safety or speed – depending on the car you select. Increasingly, intelligent infotainment systems are making the car an extension of their owner’s digital lifestyle – keeping them connected to social media and email while on the move as well as facilitating easier, smoother and more efficient journeys by being connected to traffic reports and weather information. More...

Increased use of monitoring technology will be key to the future of wearable technology More

Increased use of monitoring technology will be key to the future of wearable technology

Analysts at BI Intelligence have predicted that by 2019 the global wearable device market will reach a point where a staggering 148 million units are shipped each year - experiencing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of close to 35% between now and 2019. The organisation has identified 2 particular categories where uptake will be at its greatest. These are: More...

Hardware acceleration beats software processing in automotive applications More

Hardware acceleration beats software processing in automotive applications

As technology in automobile applications becomes more prevalent and more sophisticated - and the presence of on-board safety-related vision systems expands to everyday cars, it would be sensible to expect that the associated processors are expanding their processing capacity accordingly. More...

Knowledge is Power - Essential Attributes of Power MOSFETs More

Knowledge is Power - Essential Attributes of Power MOSFETs

When looking to incorporate MOSFET devices into power system designs, there are numerous issues that should be given careful consideration. Through having a good understanding of each of these, the best fit can be found between the various component options available and the specific design criteria that need to be adhered to. Also the necessary trade-offs between different parameters can be better executed.  More...

Scalability beats 'one-size-fits-all' in critical automotive vision systems More

Scalability beats 'one-size-fits-all' in critical automotive vision systems

We all know that in many aspects of modern life 'one-size-fits-all' rarely works well. At best it is a compromise, often it adds unnecessary cost and, sometimes, produces a completely unworkable solution.  As manufacturers seek to increase their competitive edge more and more optimised solutions are reaching the market. If you're buying an end product for a specific task, this means you will have something that does the job well - when you're specifying components in a design the optimised solution allows you to transfer the focused performance to your end customers.  More...

Thermal Management Implications of Advances in Packaging & Silicon Technologies for Power Semiconductor Devices More

Thermal Management Implications of Advances in Packaging & Silicon Technologies for Power Semiconductor Devices

The heat energy that is present in power ICs, such as MOSFETs, not only impacts on these devices’ operational performance, it also has the potential to impinge heavily on system reliability, increasing the risk of failure and shortening operational lifespan. It has a detrimental effect on the running costs involved too - as power adaptors that exhibit poor conversion efficiency characteristics will need to draw more current from the main supply, thus adding to the size of the user’s utility bills. Engineers simply cannot afford to ignore the heat dissipation issue.  More...

The next wave of the Internet of Every Thing is upon us More

The next wave of the Internet of Every Thing is upon us

There are more than 11 billion internet connections to desktops and mobiles, but according to research by Goldman Sachs the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) could see more than 28 billion “things” connected to the internet by 2020!  More...

Smarter Motor Control More

Smarter Motor Control

The face of industry is changing with a promise of highly connected machines that communicate, coordinate and make autonomous decisions.  Speed, precision, smoothness and energy efficiency will be at the heart of Industry and the machines that drive it. The motors that move current generations of equipment often consume over 50 per cent of the total system energy supplied – to meet its full potential, next generation of motor drives needs to deliver improved performance with a significant reduction in total energy consumed.  More...

Choosing processors that address the most stringent ASIL automotive functional safety requirements More

Choosing processors that address the most stringent ASIL automotive functional safety requirements

The days when it was sufficient to 'inspect in' quality by checking the product at the end of the production process are largely behind us. Nowadays, far greater levels of quality are achieved by controlling the actual production process more closely - usually leading to a reduction in overall operating costs.  More...

Stacked NAND flash devices set to benefit from industry increase in capital equipment expenditure More

Stacked NAND flash devices set to benefit from industry increase in capital equipment expenditure

A report recently published by Research & Markets predicts that the global capital spend associated with memory device production will experience a healthy compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.86% between now and 2019. This reflects the heightening consumer demand for access to greater data storage resources, as well as the shortening of replacement cycles being witnessed for portable electronics goods (in many cases now measuring less than a year).  More...

How to develop a wearable fall detector More

How to develop a wearable fall detector

Across Europe there is a massive demographic shift leading to an increase in the number of elderly people in the population. As a consequence of this shift, the proportion of elderly people wanting to live at home at an advanced age is continuously increasing.  More...

Doubling key figures-of-merit drives up efficiency in MOSFET-based designs More

Doubling key figures-of-merit drives up efficiency in MOSFET-based designs

The low voltage power Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor (MOSFET) is the most widely used semiconductor switch.  When compared with other types of switch including Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors (IGBT) or thyristors the MOSFET will usually demonstrate better commutation speeds and also better efficiency at low voltages.  More...

Urgent and important automotive tasks require fast reactions and smart thinking More

Urgent and important automotive tasks require fast reactions and smart thinking

"What is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important." - wise words indeed from Dwight D. Eisenhower - the 34th president of the United States of America. In so many aspects of life this is true and as a maxim it can allow us to manage our time more effectively. However, back in the late 1950's when Eisenhower made this statement, the Aston Martin DB4 was state-of-the art and no-one could have predicted the advances in automotive technology in the next 50 years.  More...

Advanced MOSFET switching at the heart of automotive electronic advances More

Advanced MOSFET switching at the heart of automotive electronic advances

The growth of electronic technology in automotive applications has been an ongoing trend for decades, and has helped to make the cars we drive today more comfortable, economical, affordable, easier to service and more reliable. No longer is this restricted to luxury vehicles from the quality brands - just about any vehicle manufactured in the recent past has a high degree of electronics.  More...

HV-IPDs Will Play Integral Role in Driving Further Energy Improvements in Domestic Appliances More

HV-IPDs Will Play Integral Role in Driving Further Energy Improvements in Domestic Appliances

Consumer attitudes are changing and the energy ratings of domestic appliances are becoming an increasingly important aspect of modern purchasing decisions - whereas previously it would have come a long way down the list (somewhere below, features, price, aesthetics, etc.). For such items to attain high scores in relation to their energy rating, variable speed operation is necessary (in contrast to the less sophisticated ‘all or nothing’ approach of the past). This allows great efficiency levels to be realised, with a number of different benefits subsequently being derived.  More...

Bright future ahead for NAND flash market More

Bright future ahead for NAND flash market

A recently published study 2015 Market Research Report on Global NAND Flash Memory Industry states that the NAND flash memory market worldwide is going to reach US$49 billion by the end of 2019, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 10% being witnessed between now and then. This means that, thanks to the high densities being achieved, as well as the fast write speeds and low unit costs, NAND flash is now outperforming the rest of the memory market by a considerable margin.  More...

Fashion Just Got Smarter More

Fashion Just Got Smarter

Two decades ago the concept of portable electronics was still to be properly explored, yet today it is recognised as a fundamental part of our day-to-day lives. We are entering a new phase in the progression of personal electronics, as the potential of wearable technology starts to become more apparent.  More...

Wireless charging - more benefits than you might realize More

Wireless charging - more benefits than you might realize

Juice Jacking - it sounds like the latest health regime but nothing could be further from the truth. It's 'urban speak' for unscrupulous people accessing your mobile devices at those plug-in charging stations you see in airports and other public places.  More...

Wireless Charging gathers speed and gains awareness More

Wireless Charging gathers speed and gains awareness

Five years is a long time - especially in the technology business. Since the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) released the first version of the Qi standard in 2010, a quiet revolution has been taking place in wireless charging for handheld and wearable devices. 
 

According to leading market analyst firm, IHS Technology, 2015 will be a pivotal year. Awareness of the technology by consumers in key markets such as the USA, UK and China has jumped from 36 percent to 76 percent in just the last year.  More...

DSOP Advance: Addressing the fundamentals of heat in power systems More

DSOP Advance: Addressing the fundamentals of heat in power systems

Heat is always a challenge in power design. Many solutions are in use, both solid-state (heatsinks, heat-pipes) and air moving devices such as fans. All of these add size, complexity and cost to the system - exactly what today's typical power designer is looking to avoid.  More...

JEDEC 5.1 introduces the e•MMC™ memory of the future More

JEDEC 5.1 introduces the e•MMC™ memory of the future

The latest JEDEC 5.1 version defines a host of new and enhanced features that will come in useful for designers of smartphones and other smart devices. These devices are typically based on low power ARM® processors and have ever increasing demands for enhanced features and memory capacities - without the controller overheads that often accompany these.  More...

Is wireless charging finally set for wholesale consumer adoption? More

Is wireless charging finally set for wholesale consumer adoption?

A recently published report from Juniper Research predicts that 20% of households in Europe, and close to 40% in North America will have access to wireless charging functionality by the end of the decade. Demand will be driven by greater use of wearable electronics and internet of things (IoT) devices. While the wireless charging of these devices makes sense, the far bigger opportunity for wireless charging lies in replenishing the batteries of portable electronics goods (such as smartphones and tablets). With an ever-expanding breadth of power-draining functionality incorporated into these devices, battery lives are coming under increased scrutiny.  More...

Lighting the way for constant photocoupler current transfer ratios More

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When specifying photocouplers special care must be taken to ensure that the current transfer ratio (CTR) will guarantee the correct output current or else device malfunction may occur. The CTR, expressed as a percentage of the ratio of the output current divided by the input current, commonly varies with varying input current, the room temperature and age of the component.  More...

Utilizing Sophisticated Automotive Imaging & Image Processing Technology for Effective ADAS More

Utilizing Sophisticated Automotive Imaging & Image Processing Technology for More Effective ADAS

Automated/assisted driving technology is predicted to represent a $25 billion dollar market by 2020, according to a report recently published by Reuters. That is more than 4 times what it is worth today. Europe’s New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP) is increasingly focussing on the value of automated safety mechanisms - with more stringent test procedures being put in over the next few years to address this and car assessment programmes used throughout the rest of the world expected to rapidly follow suit.  More...

Implementing More Effective Motor Drives More

Implementing More Effective Motor Drives

In order to respond to growing pressures to curb energy consumption, greater prevalence of variable-speed motors is being witnessed. Such motors are being incorporated into heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment, domestic appliances (dish washers, refrigerators, washing machines, etc.), light industrial drives and suchlike. These motors, in turn, call for inverter drives to propel them. A key concern, however, when specifying inverter drives for these types of applications is the associated cost.  More...

Redefining Vehicle Instrumentation Clusters More

Human machine interfaces (HMIs) play a key role in all branches of modern electronic design and the operational benefits they have led to in portable consumer goods (such as smartphones) are now being mirrored elsewhere. The automotive HMI business is expected to experience a 7.7% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2015 and 2019, according to industry analysts TechNavio. More...

Automotive storage – the heart of the connected car More

Automotive storage – the heart of the connected car

Automotive storage always used to refer to how much boot space a car had, or whether there was a sizeable glove box and sunglasses holder. Today, automotive storage is also used to refer to the amount of digital storage space a car contains – and as more and more of our work and entertainment are delivered digitally, the importance of digital storage increases.  More than 28 million automotive specific HDDs have been sold by Toshiba alone since 1996 and over time, the capacity of those drives has steadily increased.  More...

Cost-Effective Inverters Set to Bring About Next Generation Low Power Motor Drives More

Cost-Effective Inverters Set to Bring About Next Generation Low Power Motor Drives

Improvements to the energy efficiency levels of inverter motor drives are making them increasingly attractive in applications where the power budget needs to be reined in - so that more stringent environmental guidelines can be adhered to. These applications include small HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems, light industrial drives and certain domestic appliances. More...

Next Generation MOSFET Design - Driving Automotive Innovation Forward More

Next Generation MOSFET Design - Driving Automotive Innovation Forward

Automobile sales are at high level considering worldwide demand for cars. Nevertheless, whether serving the low end, mid-range or luxury market, vehicle manufacturers are facing huge challenges. They need to bring new models to market that are capable of differentiating themselves from those of the competition. To do so they must respond to exacting, yet often disparate, demands for increased functionality, greater fuel economy, reduced carbon emissions and improved driver experience - addressing governments bodies’ increasingly stringent legislative measures and car buyers ever heightening expectations.  More...

How to Select the Right Power MOSFET More

How to Select the Right Power MOSFET

According to figures compiled by the Information Network, power MOSFETs will represent a $6.3 billion business by 2017. The attributes possessed by these devices makes them favourable over other power ICs (such as BJTs) when it comes to switch functionality. As well as supporting heightened switching speeds, they have less complex supporting drive circuitry, superior frequency response, elevated input impedance, greater current gain and better temperature stability.  More...

Addressing the Increased ECC Requirements of Modern NAND Flash Technologies More

Addressing the Increased ECC Requirements of Modern NAND Flash Technologies

It is well known that all the different species within the shark family have to constantly keep moving through the water in order to stay alive, and comparisons can easily be made between this and Moore’s Law. For over 5 decades this has served as the fundamental dynamic on which the survival of the semiconductor industry has been completely dependent. Non-volatile memories, such as those based on NAND Flash, are among the ICs placed at the vanguard of Moore’s Law.  More...

Meeting the Expectations of Modern Automotive Design through Next Generation Power ICs More

Meeting the Expectations of Modern Automotive Design through Next Generation Power ICs

With more stringent international legislature being put in place to curb the impact that automobiles have on the environment, vehicle manufacturers need to find ways of making the numerous subsystems within their latest models lighter and more power efficient. Through this it will be possible to increase the levels of fuel economy, as well as lowering carbon emissions, while at the same time allowing new features and functionality to be introduced that will appeal to car buyers.  The industry is progressively replacing mechanical systems with electrically based ones, so that weight can be reduced.   More...

Wearable Electronic Devices - Key Considerations More

Wearable Electronic Devices - Key Considerations

The advent of wearable electronics is set to bring about the most radical changes to the clothing business since the industrial revolution over 150 years ago. Although it is still in it’s a relatively nascent phase, annual revenues generated from this sector are expected to ramp up considerably over the next decade - hitting the $70 billion mark by 2025, if IDTechEx forecasts prove to be correct. Regardless of the specific purpose that any item of wearable electronics serves, it needs to satisfy several fundamental criteria in order to see serious market uptake.  More...

Form-fit-and-functional compatible SLC NAND for older system designs More

Form-fit-and-functional compatible SLC NAND for older system designs

NAND Flash memory can be an expensive component in a system, and this has pushed system designer to find cheaper solutions. Memory manufacturers support this request and provide smaller memory process nodes so that more capacity can be squeezed into smaller chips. This increases the “bit-density” and results in reduced cost per bit.  More...

Getting to know your photocoupler - key phrases & characteristics that you need to be aware of More

Getting to know your photocoupler - key phrases & characteristics that you need to be aware of

The global market for photocouplers is expected to rise from a total $1.87 billion last year to $3.22 billion by 2021, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.2% over this period (according to figures compiled by Transparency Market Research). Moving forward, among the key drivers for this rapidly expanding product sector will be their increasing inclusion in automotive, digital signage, imaging and printer system implementations.  More...

DSOP Advance: high power density MOSFETs in a small package More

DSOP Advance: high power density MOSFETs in a small package

Low-voltage power MOSFETs are used as main switching devices in power supply systems. The power density of these systems is increasing continuously. In order to reduce the system volume and power loss, a significant improvement of the package heat radiation of the MOSFETs is necessary.

To meet this demand, a new MOSFET package called DSOP Advance (Dual Side Cooling SOP 5x6mm) has been developed. Details of the new package were presented in a paper during PCIM 2014 in Nuremburg in May.  More...

New JEDEC standards improve e•MMC memory speed and security More

New JEDEC standards improve e•MMC memory speed and security

Embedded MulitMediaCard (e•MMC) memory modules are used widely in smartphones and tablets as the chips integrate the memory controller and all the memory management functions within the package. This integration simplifies device design and reduces component count.

As the devices are backward compatible, it also enables manufacturers to benefit from the latest process technologies without having to update their designs.  More...

How the latest advances in image recognition technology for ADAS can save lives More

How the latest advances in image recognition technology for ADAS can save lives

Humans are fallible, and behind the wheel of a fast moving car a single moments lapse in concentration can lead to deadly mistakes.

Image recognition technology can deliver significant safety advantages as part of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). From lane departure warning to pedestrian and small object detection, the technology is enabling car manufacturers to meet the requirements of current and future regulations specified by the European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP).  More...

Power MOSFETs explained - a 5 minute guide for the busy design engineer More

Power MOSFETs explained - a 5 minute guide for the busy design engineer

Solar power is big business. As demand for solar panels grows, there is an increasing need for more compact and energy efficient electronics so that every possible milliWatt of energy harvested from the sun is captured and made available to use.

Photovoltaic inverters convert the DC current produced by an array of photovoltaic cells to AC at local line voltage and frequency, ready to be fed into the grid or used to power an off-grid network. Micro-inverters that connect to just one panel each are also available – ensuring that reduced output from any panel (perhaps because of shade or snow) doesn’t disproportionately affect the output of the total array.  More...

The Journey Ahead for Automotive Power More

The Journey Ahead for Automotive Power

The automotive industry is quick to respond to changing realities, standards and requirements. In recent years this has taken the form of reacting to meet increasing customer and regulator demand to create vehicles that deliver greater fuel economy, lower CO2 emissions, and provide and enhanced driver experience. 
 

The electrification of modern vehicles has been an ongoing trend for more than two decades, and has helped to make the cars we drive today more comfortable, economical, affordable, easier to service and more reliable.  More...

How to build a smart sport watch More

How to build a smart sport watch

Interest in the smart watch and sport watch segments are growing rapidly and interest in the fitness and "wellbeing" applications are driving a lot of that growth.

As demand for smart watches and sport watches increases, so too does the availability of technologies to make their design faster and easier. This is particularly true in the semiconductor arena where there is a growing number of processor technologies targeted at wearable ‘internet of things’ solutions.  More...

Low-Power Inverter Drives for High-Power Environments More

There is increasing demand for a new generation of smart gate-driver couplers that combine compact, power-efficient and cost-effective protection techniques and active Miller clamping all in a single device that simplifies design, saves component count, and minimises solution size.  More...

Promising Future Ahead for Wireless Charging According to IHS Spokesperson More

It was encouraging to see a recent video discussion about the progression of wireless charging - which featured Ryan Sanderson, Principal Analyst on Wireless Power at IHS Research. The analyst firm forecasts that by 2018, annual shipments of wireless charging receiver units will have reached the 1 billion mark (translating into a total market value $8.5 billion).  More...

Why wearable electronics need more than just a pretty face More

There is a huge amount of media interest being given to wearable electronic devices at the moment. Even though this is clearly great for the semiconductor industry, as it represents an important future revenue stream, perhaps too much of the attention so far has been focussed specifically on the fashion aspect and not enough on the benefits this technology could also have in terms of healthcare. As wearable electronic products can be kept in constant contact with the body, they are very highly suited to the monitoring of various physical parameters, and this is an area that needs to be thoroughly explored.  More...

Innovation in Silicon Designs to Enable Wearable Devices More

Smartphones, tablets and the mobile Internet have convinced many people of the benefits of a constantly connected, computer-assisted lifestyle.

The success of these innovations and technologies is partly linked to the way devices such as smartphones fit neatly into the lives of end users. Portability and intuitive ease of use enables them to become an integral – almost invisible – part of everyday life.  More...

Overcoming the challenges of TFT graphical automotive cockpit displays More

Overcoming the challenges of TFT graphical automotive cockpit displays

Car manufacturers are increasingly replacing or augmenting traditional dashboard instruments with virtual instrumentation rendered on a TFT-LCD panel.

The result is not only a novel selling point, it also gives owners the ability to customise their user experience similar to “re-skinning” a smartphone. This approach is also effective in helping to more effectively manage the increasing quantities of information available to the driver.  More...

Toshiba’s Heiner Tendyck Explains New Applications for Bluetooth® LSI and Software Development More

When Bluetooth® was first introduced for computing and mobile applications it was never conceived that this same technology could evolve to support the growing variety of applications it does today. Bluetooth enabled technology is now finding use in healthcare, wearable technology, retail POS devices and even helping to make the domestic environment smarter and more intuitive.  More...

e•MMC memory: enabling a world of "things" to think smarter More

e•MMC memory: enabling a world of "things" to think smarter

The world is getting smarter. We are surrounded by talk about smartphones, smartwatches and even smartfridges – all components of the much-heralded internet of things (IoT).

While these devices all incorporate sensors and processors to interpret and display data, there is a pressing need to store the data too.  More...

Innovations in isolation - advanced photocoupler technologies enable greater protection in smaller packages More

Photocouplers (also known as optoisolators or optocouplers) have become an increasingly important bridge between circuits operating at different voltages.

They provide galvanic separation and prevent the flow of potentially damaging loop currents between grounds at different potentials; or ensure that current or voltage surges do not damage system components or harm users. Optical isolation is also useful for preventing the propagation of electrical noise and eliminating impedance mismatches.  More...

Extending product lifetimes with new NAND flash technologies More

Extending product lifetimes with new NAND flash technologies

Demand from consumer and mobile markets, automotive and industrial sectors, and emerging Internet of Things (IoT) applications is driving Flash storage technology to aggressively move to smaller and smaller process nodes.
 

Single-Level Cell NAND Flash (SLC NAND), which stores one bit per cell and can endure around 60,000 write/erase cycles, is currently the most widely used Flash technology for these applications.  More...

Improving the efficiency of solar panels with advanced MOSFET technology More

Solar power is big business. As demand for solar panels grows, there is an increasing need for more compact and energy efficient electronics so that every possible milliWatt of energy harvested from the sun is captured and made available to use.

Photovoltaic inverters convert the DC current produced by an array of photovoltaic cells to AC at local line voltage and frequency, ready to be fed into the grid or used to power an off-grid network. Micro-inverters that connect to just one panel each are also available – ensuring that reduced output from any panel (perhaps because of shade or snow) doesn’t disproportionately affect the output of the total array.   More...

Wireless charging in any position More

As portable device proliferation continues unabated, the challenge of matching chargers, cables and devices is becoming an ever-growing headache for consumers.
 

The ability to recharge your smartphone or tablet simply by placing it on a wireless charging mat without having to fiddle with wires is a very convenient and secure concept.  More...

FFSAs unleash ASIC performance at FPGA volumes More

Designers needing a custom-IC have long been stuck with one of two choices for implementing their designs – they either need to use an FPGA or standard-cell ASIC.

FPGAs are usually the most economical solution if the intended production volume is low as the up-front costs are very low. However, the cost per unit is relatively high in comparison to an ASIC.  More...

Removing the burden of NAND error correction at advanced process nodes More

Keeping up with the neighbours can be a challenge, but for device manufacturers keeping up with NAND Flash memory improvements can be even harder. With process node advancements coming more and more frequently and driving down the cost per Gbit, the challenge is increasing exponentially.

However, there is a cost involved with process shrinks – the cells become more vulnerable to high-voltage write / erase stresses that can alter or damage individual cells. This means new technologies require more advanced Error Correction Code (ECC) to maintain the desired levels of data integrity.  More...

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