Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director of industrial automation supplier EU Automation examines how digital decay is affecting industry
The 80s: an era of double denim, floppy disks and such classics as Don’t You Want Me, by The Human League. Back then, the concept of storing the vinyl collection of your standard new romantic as well as enough movies to rival the local video shop on a “cloud” was unimaginable and let’s be honest, ridiculous.
Today, data storage for consumer and industrial technology is advancing rapidly, but what does this mean for older industrial devices?
Chip giant Qualcomm has revealed its first communications chip for connected cars, a market in which it is soon to be dominant after its acquisition of NXP Semiconductor goes through.
Presenting the new chip at CES, Patrick Little, Qualcomm’s senior vice president of automotive, said the chip can handle cellular signals at speeds measured in gigabits per second, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
“No longer will you be cranking windows and pushing buttons,” WSJ quoted Little as saying. “You’ll walk into your car and it will feel like a very seamless transition with your handset.”
New manufacturing hub in Japan complements UK production operation and expands capacity for famed Raspberry Pi microcomputer
RS Components and the Raspberry Pi Foundation have agreed a deal which will see the latest iteration of the Raspberry Pi 3 credit-card-sized single-board computer being manufactured in Japan under a local contract manufacturing arrangement.
This increase in global production of Raspberry Pi is to serve large and increasing demand for the popular platform in the Asia Pacific region.
William Chong, head of product, supplier, inventory and pricing management, Asia Pacific, RS Components, says: “Existing models of the Raspberry Pi will continue to be manufactured in South Wales, UK, with the dual manufacturing locations in place to cater for future demand growth globally.
Raspberry Pi sold its 10 millionth unit last month, four years after its founders launched the tiny computer, expecting to sell only a few thousand.
Writing on the company’s blog, one of the founders, Eben Upton, says “imagine how strange it feels” to announce having sold 10 million, and that the figure has “beaten our wildest dreams by three orders of magnitude”.
One of the issues with analysing the chip market, as with some others, is that the products are complex and have a huge array of applications. This often makes it difficult to compare one chip with another.
Moreover, some people might not know the difference between a micro-processor and a micro-controller, or what a semiconductor is… and where microchips fit into all this.
Chipmakers Qualcomm and NXP Semiconductors have reportedly agreed a $40 billion takeover deal, according to CNBC.
Wall Street Journal reported a couple of weeks ago that Qualcomm was in negotiations to buy NXP for $30 billion, and TechCrunch.com says the acquisition would be “a huge consolidation move for the silicon industry”.
Neither company has so far commented on the talks, and have not confirmed they are taking place.
But now, CNBC is confident that Qualcomm and NXP “have agreed an all-cash handshake deal that Qualcomm will pay $110 a share for NXP … in a deal that would be close to $40 billion”.
Qualcomm has a market capitalisation of more than $100 billion, and earned over $25 billion in revenue in 2015. The company has 27,000 staff and is headquartered in California, in the US.
NXP is valued at $35 billion and had revenues of $6 billion in 2015. It has 45,000 staff and is headquartered in the Netherlands, Europe.
Industrial computing specialist Distec has agreed a deal to stock the Wincomm Range of 15″, 19″ and 21.5″ fully waterproof industrial PCs.
The Manchester, UK based company, which supplies touchscreens, PCs and computing accessories to sectors including the food and beverage industry, says it has chosen the Wincomm range for its high quality components, which make it suitable for even the toughest environments.
Not so long ago, computers were almost always in a business location – an accountant’s office, or something like that. But gradually, partly thanks to Apple iMac, the machines started making their way into homes in large numbers.
But there are still categories of computers which don’t really belong in the home, or at least weren’t designed for domestic bliss. If you can comfortably fit a supercomputer or a mainframe into your house, that’s probably enough domestic bliss for you anyway.
For most of us, desktop computers – or increasingly laptop computers – are just about all the space we can share, and the largest manufacturers of such poor-man’s systems were recently listed by Gartner.
Worldwide computer shipments in second quarter of 2016
Company says will make production sites integrated and intelligent
Omron is planning to release its new Industrial PC (IPC) platform in August. The company says the system will “innovate manufacturing through IoT utilization and high-speed, high-precision automation”.
The IPC is a PC architecture-based platform that meets strict quality standards required for factory automation devices and can be supplied stably on a long-term basis.