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    More overheating problems loom large as devices shrink

    screen-shot-2016-11-14-at-11-18-36-am

    Lithium-ion batteries are on the hot seat following reports of explosions and fires caused by the power packs in Samsung Electronics Note 7 smartphones.

    But according to a new MIT study reported by eengineering.com, potential heat problems with electronic devices are lurking even deeper, inside semiconductor devices themselves. The study suggests that as electron concentrations rise due to the ever-decreasing size of transistors, electronic devices of all kinds may face an increasingly high risk of overheating.

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      Application processing gets heterogeneous silicon boost

      June 28, 2016

      Heterogeneous computing, a long-time feature of graphics-intensive desktop devices, is making its way into application processing, specifically on mobile devices, Internet of Things applications, wearables, secure Point-of-Sale equipment, smart home controls, and industrial products.

      Heterogeneous computing refers to an emerging design architecture that incorporates more than one kind of processor, or core, for handling varying system computing tasks.

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        Is there a place for “toys” in industrial automation?

        By Richard Wallace | May 27, 2016

        Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 11.16.01 AM

        It started life as a do-it-yourself, toy computer, primarily for educators and tech hobbyists eager to get their hands on today’s most advanced microcomputer technology.

        Today, Raspberry Pi is shedding its plaything pedigree and breaking new ground in mainstream industrial control markets. Aided by recent connectivity upgrade in the core architecture, Raspberry Pi is quickly, and quietly making inroads into the industrial landscape.

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          New USB-C controllers will not be one-size-fits-all

          May 8, 2016

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          The world of USB cables and connectors can be a compatibility and interoperability nightmare for systems builders as well as users.

          It helps to know the ABCs of these cables: Type-A, Type-B, and the newest, USB-C. The USB standard version, which is currently at 3.1, refers to the speed and functionality of USB cables, while the Type (A,B,C),  relates to the physical shape and the wiring of the ports and plugs.

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            Smartphone charge technology: is it a bug or a feature?

            By Richard Wallace | May 2, 2016

            Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 1.46.43 PMIs there an Achilles heel in the technology ecosystem of ‘next wave’ smartphones?

            Specifically, a reported incompatibility between a) the latest USB-Type C connector specification and b) a very popular rapid-charging chip used in the latest mobile phones may be potentially dangerous.

            “Some early USB-C cables aren’t built to specification and could damage your hardware,” warns the website lifehacker.com, noting that as it “turns out, the same may be true of some phones that include a USB-C port and support Qualcomm’s QuickCharge 3.0 technology,”

            But don’t unplug your charger so fast.  

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              Intel’s $15 computer board targets low-end IoT developers

              April 17, 2016

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              Intel has introduced a tiny $15 computer, the Quark Microcontroller Developer Kit D2000, that targets entry-level applications in the Internet of Things.

              The D2000 is intended for embedding in wearables, smart appliances, home automation products, and industrial equipment. The single-board board features a Quark D2000 micro controller running at 32MHz, a six-axis accelerometer, a magnetometer, a temperature sensor, a single USB 2.0 port, a coin cell battery slot, and a 5-volt power input.

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                At $5 and $9, the world’s cheapest computers

                December 7, 2015

                Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 2.22.47 PM
                Seven months ago, the notion of a 1GHz, fully functional computer selling for under $10 would have seemed crazy. But back then, no one had seen PocketCHIP, the $9 portable computer from China, or the $5 Pi Zero, from Wales; the world’s cheapest computers.

                Then suddenly last week, before you could blink, all available inventory of these devices was sold out everywhere, within hours.

                Computer Platforms, Virtual Reality

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                  Is Microsoft’s HoloLens the Future of 3D Design?

                  By Richard Wallace | May 9, 2015

                  3dDesign

                  The application development community recently got its first hands-on look, and feel, of Microsoft’s HoloLens, an advanced holographic computing platform seem as “a quantum leap in human computer interaction” and “the future of computing,” by enthusiastic attendees of Build 2015.

                  While short on basic specifications like performance, battery life, and price, HoloLens has been enthusiastically embraced by the game development and entertainment communities.