Category Archives: Newsworthy

Lead-Free Reflow for High-Layer-Count PCBs

High-layer-count multilayer printed circuit boards (PCBs) present one of the most difficult cases for adaptation to the lead-free reflow assembly process. Often, these boards have through-hole and hand-soldered components, along with the requirement for two or more rework cycles. The slower wetting and higher reflow temperatures of lead-free solders place an enormous strain on the laminates and copper-plated hole barrels of the vias, with resulting loss of reliability. Restrictions on Hazardous Read more [...]

How Counterfeit Electronic Parts and Components Affect Businesses

Although counterfeiting has been an age-old industry, it is only recently that the impact of counterfeit electronic parts and components has come to be highlighted. The public is slowly gaining the awareness of the implications and risks such counterfeited electronics bring to trusting users. It is difficult for manufacturers to trace the origin of the counterfeited parts compared to the traceability present for the authentic components. It is possible these are older, but legitimate versions Read more [...]

How Black can VantaBlack be?

How Black can VantaBlack be? Any student of Physics knows that black surfaces are good absorbers of radiation of the visible and the infrared spectrum of light—they readily soak in visible light and heat rays. That is the reason they look black, as they reflect very little light. In fact, the amount of light reflected by a black surface is a measure of its blackness. Therefore, when VantaBlack, from the UK-based Surrey NanoSystems, is called blacker than black, there is a specific reason—it Read more [...]

Accurate Methods of Gas Analysis

Accurate Methods of Gas Analysis The earliest methods of detecting poisonous gases involved using birds such as canaries. This was mainly inside mines, where the presence of carbon monoxide, methane, and carbon dioxide had a harmful effect on the miners. The canaries, being sensitive to life threatening gases, would stop singing in the presence of such gases. This was a signal for the miners to evacuate. Modern methods use several other means of detection, and are more accurate. These involve Read more [...]

Two Raspberry Pi HAT Controller Modules

Atomo Systems, from Hong Kong, will be producing the Atomo Modular Electronic System for building electronic projects with four parts—Control, IO, Power, and Connector. The system also includes two low-cost HAT modules with onboard ARM MCUs compatible to the Raspberry Pi (RBPi). The combined controller connector board uses a small and inexpensive MCU, similar to what an Arduino Uno uses. However, the ARM MCU is faster, has more IO, and is better compatible with the RBPi. The idea behind building Read more [...]

Graphene Cells Generate Energy for Prosthetic Hands

At the Glasgow University, Scotland, a team of scientists has discovered a new use for graphene cells —the honeycomb form of carbon. They are using it to develop prosthetic limbs or more specifically, robotic arms with a sense of touch built-in. The world over, several researchers and their teams are trying to make synthetic skin, which is flexible, and at the same time, has a sense of touch similar to the various types of sensory receptors the human skin possesses. At the Glasgow University, Read more [...]

Five New Advancements in Solar Cells

The earth receives a huge amount of sunlight every hour. Converted to electricity, this would amount to 52 PW/hr. This is more than ten times the entire amount of electricity produced per hour by China in 2013. In the same year, top countries of the world together produced only 16 PW/hr. of electricity. As this is much less than the actual potential of generation of electricity from the solar energy falling on the planet earth, several countries are actively engaged on research and development on Read more [...]

SALTO the Agile Jumping Robot

In the Biomimetic Millisystems Lab at UC Berkeley, Duncan Haldane is responsible for numerous bite-sized bio-inspired robots—robots with hairs, robots with tails, robots with wings, and running robots. Haldane and the other members of the lab look at the most talented and capable animals for inspiration for their robotic designs. The African Galago or Bushbaby is one such animal. It is a fluffy, cute, talented, and capable little jumping animal weighing only a few kilos. However, this little Read more [...]

Connect with a New Type of Li-Fi

Many of us are stuck with slow Wi-Fi, and eagerly waiting for light-based communications to be commercialized, as Li-Fi promises to be more than 100 times faster than the Wi-Fi connections we use today. As advertised so far, most Li-Fi systems depend on the LED bulb to transmit data using visible light. However, this implies limitations on the technology being applied to systems working outside the lab. Therefore, researchers are now using a different type of Li-Fi using infrared light instead. Read more [...]

How Do Wind Turbines Work?

Wind turbines generate electricity from moving winds. You can see them in large numbers on wind farms both onshore and offshore. The blowing wind turns their blades, and rotates the shaft on which the blades are mounted. The shaft in turn, operates an electric generator and the resulting electric output is sometimes stored in a battery. A swarm of wind turbines can generate a substantial amount of energy. Wind turbines are often called a renewable source of energy, as they generate power from natural Read more [...]