Ruminations on the electronics industry from David Manners, Senior Components Editor on Electronics Weekly.



IBM founder Tom Watson Snr was a preachy guy and one of his themes was that enthusiasm was the key to success and that the way to be enthusiastic about domething is to gain intimate knowledge of it.

He would illustrate this with a golfing analogy.

“Why do some men…

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Toyota Develops Hoverboard

Toyota has developed a working hoverboard, reports the Nikkei.

The hoverboard exploits mag-lev technology developed for trains using liquid nitrogen-cooled superconductors and magnets to achieve levitation.

The hoverboard was scheduled as a nine month development project but took 18 months.

A European company helped provide technology for the…

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Pioneer has developed vision system for autonomous cars that could eventually cost $80 instead of the $24-73,000 lidar 3-D systems being used in test self-drive cars today, reports the Nikkei.

The downside is that Pioneer’s auto-eyes won’t hit the $80 price point until…

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Fable: The Wages Of Altruism

There was once a very great scientist who refused to patent any of his discoveries on the grounds that they belonged to mankind and were for the benefit of mankind in general.

He discovered a new kind of ray for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics.


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Corbymania could be more than a Labour suicide note or a free ride to a 2020 Tory victory, it could do us all a service.

It is pointed out that the current increase in inequality started with policies in the 80s like low taxes and anti-union laws which were…

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Japan is working on turning waste water into electricity, reports the Nikkei.

Researchers at Tokyo University, Sekisui Chemical, Panasonic, the Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences and Osaka University are among the participants in the project which is being sponsored by the government body New Energy and Industrial Technology…

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China's FPGA Company

To my surprise I find that China has an FPGA company. Founded in January 2014, Gowin Semiconductor of Guangdong has a two-device family of FPGAs called GW1N – GW1N-1K and GW1N-9K.

They are made on TSMC’s 55nm process with an embedded flash block which can be randomly…

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Top Ten (+9) Wireless Operators

Here, thanks to Ovum, are the top 19 wireless operators:

China Mobile
Bharti Airtel
China Unicom
American Movil
Singapore Telecom
China Telecom
Deutsche Telecom
Telecom Italia
Telia Sonera…

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Blockchain: What Can Go Wrong??

The woman who nearly bankrupted the world is at it again.

Credited with the invention of the credit-default swap while at J.P. Morgan, Blythe Masters is promoting a product called blockchain to banks and financial institutions.

The iniquity of the CDW was that Masters persuaded the SEC that…

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Tsinghua Boss Visits Micron

The mountain went to Mohammed last week when Zhao Weiguo, Chairman of Tsinghua Unigroup visited Micron’s Board of Directors, reports Srini Sundarararajan at Summit Research Partners.

Sundarararajan speculates that Zhao was investigating alternatives to an outright takeover of Micron – for instance a transfer of Micron technology in return for…

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Computer Accepts Two Languages

Burroughs Adding Machine Company in America have announced a new general-purpose computing system, the B5000, which has been designed to accept the two machine languages, Cobol and Algol, developed for easier programming.

So, 54 years ago, started a story in Electronics Weekly’s edition of March 1st 1961.


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China Eyeing Up GloFo.

China is talking to Abu Dhabi about buying GloFo, reports Digitimes.

China’s Hua Capital Management fund which manages China’s National Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund is talking to GloFo’s owner, the Advanced Technology Investment Corp (ATIC) of Abu Dhabi, about buying GloFo.

China recently allocated $19 billion…

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Wobbly Wearables

Wobbly Wearables

Hard on the heels of its report that interest in home IoT fell off a cliff in the first half of the year, Argus Insights, has produced a report saying wearables are also taking a dive.

“The rate of wearable demand is slowing post Holiday 2014,” says Argus.

Fitbit still…

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When The Prince Of Wales Met Akio Morita.

45 years ago The Prince of Wales met Akio Morita at the British Embassy in Tokyo,

He asked Morita if, were Sony ever to build a factory in Europe, he would “remember my Wales.”

The boss of Sony UK, Hiroshi Okochi, was, in fact, already scouting around for a UK…

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Lenovo Grows Server Revenues 500%+

Q2 server shipments grew 8% y-o-y year while revenue increased 7.2% from Q1 2014, says Gartner.

“x86 server shipments increased 8.3% in the second quarter of 2015 and revenue grew 9 percent,” says Gartner’s Jeffrey Hewitt, “RISC/Itanium Unix server shipments declined 18.7% globally…

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Car Cop-Control

The good news is that Yankee think tank Rand regards it as “the lowest-ranking need overall was to develop an interface for officers to directly take control of unmanned vehicles.”

The bad news is that Rand even thought about it in the first place.

If cop-control was to…

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Tsinghua-Micron Still on

The Tsinghua bid for Micron has gone quiet but it hasn’t gone away.

Asked about the deal by Forbes, Zhao Weiguo, boss of Tsinghua, tells his interviewer:

“I can’t discuss that at the moment. All I can say is Tsinghua Unigroup is very interested in the memory chip…

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Fable: Growing Pains

98 years ago a company was founded to take advantage of the skills of one man – a German engineer who had been interned at the start of World War 1.

The company was named after an illegitimate son of one of the founders.

A couple of years later an American…

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The Professor And His Elderly Students

A weird yarn has unfolded in Taiwan’s Supreme Court.

Apparently a senior director of R&D at TSMC resigned to become a Professor at Sungkyunkwan University in Korea.

It turned out that the university was sponsored by Samsung.

It further turned out that the students in the former…

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Connected Home Loses Its Appeal

Connected Home Loses Its Appeal

Home IoT is turning out to be a chimaera with demand dropping off sharply in the first half of the year, reports Argus Insights.

Consumer demand for DIY connected home products, such as the Nest thermostat, wireless security cameras and lighting control systems, dropped dramatically in the first half of…

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