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The latest news, developments and announcements from around the electronics industry.

UK universities replace magnetics lab with bench-top test

Cambridge Hiroyuki Nojiri magnet

Super-fast laser sensing has allowed UK researchers to study semiconductors without a magnetics lab. The work will feed into University of Cambridge research on AlGaN/GaN HEMTs (high electron mobility transistors). 30T magnetic coil at the heart of the system, developed by Professor Hiroyuki Nojiri at Tohoku University (see below) The test in question is cyclotron resonance. In a magnetic field, ...

Surface absorbs 98% of photons

Photon absorber Thomas White Australian National University

Australian researchers have increased photon absorption in a semiconductor to almost 99%, according to the University of Sydney. The absorber is a sub-wavelength thin-film semiconductor, and no complex nano-structures, meta-materials, exotic materials or difficult-to-create metal-non-metal combinations have been used. When light falls on a thin film etched with narrow grooves, light is directed sideways and almost all of it is ...

Perovskite solar cells yield another secret

Silicon photovoltaic panels

A source of loss in Perovskite solar cells could disappear following the decoding of a mechanism that heals defects in the crystal lattice. Organic-inorganic metal halide perovskite solar materials are rapidly catching silicon in efficiency, and are showing promise as a mass produceable large scale technology. However, a lot of issues remain to be solved, and it looks like one ...

SEMI book-to-bill continues positive

SEMI_Book-to-Bill_Chart_Jul2015-300x205.jpg

The SEMI book-to-bill for April was 1:10, down from March’s 1:15. April orders were $1.59 billion – 15.6% higher than March’s $1.38 billion, and 1.3% higher than April’s $1.57 billion. April billings were $1.46 billion – 21.5% higher than March’s $1.20 billion, and is 4% lower than April’s $1.52 billion. “Bookings reached their highest levels in eight months and billings ...

NASA builds James Webb space telescope

NASA James Webb

James Webb Space Telescope assembly passed a critical step as NASA hoisted in the instrument package – the cameras and spectrographs that will record light from the huge golden mirror. So critical was this part of construction – the load is heavy, delicate, and had to be lowered into a confined box – that prior to lifting the team trained with ...

Internet addiction and school burnout feed each other

Excessive internet use contributes to the development of school burnout. School burnout, in turn, may lead to excessive internet use or digital addiction, according to research by the Academy of Finland. The findings show that, via school burnout, adolescents’ excessive internet use can ultimately lead to depression. Exposure to digital addiction is most likely to happen if the adolescent loses ...

Liquid catalysts boost efficiency of lithium-air batteries

Yongping Zheng

Texas researchers have created a liquid catalyst for lithium-air batteries, perhaps bringing this weight-saving technology nearer, writes Steve Bush. “There’s huge promise in lithium-air batteries. However, despite the research being done by groups all over the world, those promises are not being delivered in real life,” said professor Kyeongjae Cho. “Our collaboration team has demonstrated that this problem can be ...

10 design steps to IoT heaven

Datalogger design

IoT devices come in all shapes and sizes, so this is wireless connected product design in 10 steps, writes David Griffin The internet of things (IoT) promises a huge range of possibilities from industrial asset tracking to agricultural monitoring, from home security to chronic disease monitoring.  Some IoT products are complements to existing businesses, others support whole new business plans. ...

Successor to Hubble telescope is going well, says NASA

James Webb Space Telescope

NASA has installed the instrument package into the James Webb Space Telescope. Consisting of cameras and spectrographs, it will record light from the telescope’s huge golden mirror, once it is in orbit. “This is a tremendous accomplishment for our worldwide team,” said project scientist John Mather. “There are vital instruments in this package from Europe and Canada as well as ...

ITF2016: Infineon CEO looks to progressive integration

Dr Reinhard Ploss - Infineon

“Is this the end of the the semiconductor success story?” asked Infineon CEO Reinhard Ploss at ITF2016 in Brussels this week. “”As Moore’s Law is stalling an overall system optimisation is required to achieve further value-add,” argued Ploss. “The physical limits may be pushed further but commercial limits provide a hard ceiling,” said Ploss, adding “there was no cost/transistor cross-over ...