Electronic touch pads on disposable paper coming soon

Metallic paper touch pads
Metallic paper touch pad

Researchers in the US and France have developed a electronic touch pad that is based on metallised paper. This could lead to throwaway touch pads potentially incorporated into anything from food packaging to disposable or sterile medical devices.

The touch pads are made from paper coated in a layer of aluminium around 10nm thick. The paper is then overlaid with a thin film of transparent polymer. The paper the touch pads are based on is already produced commercially and is used for everything from labels on beer bottles to glossy book covers. It is therefore very inexpensive and cost only around $0.25/mto manufacture.

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HP will resume tablet manufacturing

HP Windows 8 tablet
Potential HP TouchPad running Windows 8? (Image mock-up)

At the Global Influencer Summit 2012 this week, HP showed off several new HP Ultrabooks™, but chief executive Meg Whitman also reveled that the company will restart production of consumer tablets. Unlike the previous HP TouchPad running webOS, these new tablets will be using the upcoming Windows 8 operating system from Microsoft.

The tablet strategy was scrapped last year by the current CEO Leo Apotheker after disappointing sales figures, and at the same time Apotheker caused a stir when he decided to refocus HP on higher-margin businesses like cloud computing and software. It seemed that HP might leave the Personal Computer market all together. After just 11 months on the job, Hewlett-Packard’s board ousted CEO Leo Apotheker, replacing him with Meg Whitman, former CEO at eBay.

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LG Optimus L7 to arrive in stores this month

LG Optimus L7
LG Optimus L7 - Image: ©lg.com

The new LG Optimus L7 will begin arriving in stores this week. Being part of LG’s L-Series lineup, it has a premium design and a large 4.3-inch display and comes with the latest Android version, Ice Cream Sandwich. The LG Optimus L7 has a slim and sleek body and a thickness of only 8.7mm. With it’s metallic-decorated edges, and seamless key arrangement the device gives an elegant look and feel.

The Optimus L7 features a 5 MP rear camera with an impressive and advanced, six-tenth of a second Autofocus feature, allowing users to capture precious scenes fast and more accurately. Following its release in Europe in early May, the LG Optimus L7 will roll out in Asia followed by other markets around the world soon after.

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NGK develop GaN Wafer for new Ultra High Brightness LED’s

NGK's GaN wafer
LED element under light emitting test. Injection current: approx. 200mA, Center wavelength: 450nm (Image: © NGK Insulators, Ltd)

NGK Insulators, Ltd. has announced it has developed gallium nitride (GaN) wafers that can double the luminous efficiency of a LED light source compared to conventional materials.

With the assistance of a research institute outside the company, tests were performed to measure the luminous efficiency of an LED element using NGK’s new GaN wafer. With an injection current of 200mA, the GaN wafer during the tests showed an internal quantum efficiency of 90%. The GaN wafer achieved a luminous efficiency of 200lm/W, which is twice as efficient as those on the market today. This in affect means that with this new solution the power consumption can be reduced by up to 50%, while upholding the same brightness of a traditional LED.

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New research can give mobile devices that see through walls

UT Dallas Reasearchers
Dr. Kenneth O, left, worked with a team including Dae Yeon Kim, who was among the authors of the research report.

Researchers at UT Dallas have designed a new imaging chip that in the future could let mobile devices see through walls, wood, plastics, paper and other objects. The research team have linked two existing scientific breakthroughs into one. The first involves looking at the terahertz range, a previously unused range in the electromagnetic spectrum. The second utilize advancements in new microchip technology.

Infrared wavelengths have been used for years, making night vision devices among other things possible. The terahertz band, one of the wavelength ranges that falls between microwave and infrared, has however up till now not been accessible for most consumer devices.

“We’ve created approaches that open a previously untapped portion of the electromagnetic spectrum for consumer use and life-saving medical applications”, said Dr. Kenneth O, professor of electrical engineering at UT Dallas and director of the Texas Analog Center of Excellence(TxACE). “The terahertz range is full of unlimited potential that could benefit us all.”

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New power-optimized 2GHz Cortex-A15 quad-core chip from ARM

ARM Cortex-A15 MPCore
ARM Cortex-A15 MPCore (© ARM Ltd.)

ARM has just unveiled a new ARM Cortex-A15 MPCore quad-core chip, clocked at up to 2.0GHz, built using the TSMC 28-nanometer HPM process. It includes ARM’s NEON and Floating Point Unit technology, EEC for L1 and L2 RAM, as well as the ability to address more than 4GB of RAM.

Even if the new chip brings more processing power, it is very energy efficient as well, offering similar power consumption ratings to existing Cortex-A9 products. As if that was not enough, it also supports virtualization which makes it suitable for a wide variety of applications.

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Atmel unveils new revolutionary flexible touch sensors

Atmel XSense
XSense Flexible Touch Sensor from Atmel

This Wednesday in San Jose, CA, Atmel Corporation announced that it is sampling, to select customers, it’s revolutionary, highly flexible film-based touch sensor called XSense. Based on a proprietary roll-to-roll metal mesh technology, XSense Touch Sensors provide a high-performance alternative to existing touch sensors and its features make it possible to develop larger, lighter, sleeker, curved and edgeless designs for smartphones, tablets and a host of new touch-enabled products. It can also extend touch capabilities into a wider array of new consumer and industrial products.

“Our groundbreaking XSense technology transforms the touch experience for users of new smartphones, tablets and other touch-enabled products”, said Atmel President and CEO Steve Laub. “XSense launches a new era of touch design, enabling our customers to redefine touch and to create a new class of products that were previously only imaginable. Combined with Atmel maXTouch® controllers, Atmel provides a completely optimized, unparalleled touch experience, extending its product portfolio deeper into the touch eco-system.”

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Texas Instruments introduce three new KeyStone DSPs

TI's new C665x series
Texas Instruments new C665x series

Texas Instruments today unveiled three new devices based on its KeyStone multicore architecture, utilizing the TMS320C66x digital signal processors (DSP) generation. The new TMS320C665x DSPs feature combined fixed- and floating-point capabilities, delivering real-time high performance at low power, coupled with smaller form factors.

Based on the KeyStone multicore architecture, TI’s new C665x processors is made to give developers access to devices with high performance, while still being energy and space efficient. With low power consumption, and a small form factor of 21mm x 21mm the processors enables portability, mobility and low power energy sources, such as battery and interface powering to drive new exciting products to be developed.

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HYQUATOR might bring safe drinking water everywhere

HYQUATOR a portable solar-powered device

A new Kickstarter project called HYQUATOR aims to bring safe drinking to anyone, at anytime. The HYQUATOR is portable solar-powered electronic device and the first project for a New York City based tech start-up iTRONYC. The device is said to work without filters or UV light and does not need any additional chemical components. It is powered by a built in solar panel, but can also be powered by a battery.

So far only $1,711 has been raised, and the goal is set to $60,000. With only 8 days to go please contribute if you feel this concept is interesting. The money will be used to produce 500 pieces of HYQUATOR and to get the production costs down to an affordable price. Some of it will also go to cover start-up expenses for the electrode design and case tooling for the injection mold fabrication, and to cover development costs of a pre-production device. The funds are also needed to get FCC/CE and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approvals, that HYQUATOR works in respect with its regulations and in respect with the US Safe Drinking Water Act.

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NEC develops an ultra thin organic and flexible battery

Organic Radical Battery
NEC's new Organic Radical Battery

NEC Corporation announced on March 5 the development of a new ultra-thin, 0.3mm thick, organic radical battery (ORB) that is compatible with standard IC cards of 0.76mm thickness. These new, 0.3mm batteries are less than half the thickness of existing units.

The size reduction is accomplished by using printing technologies to integrate circuit boards with batteries. As a result, IC cards embedded with these batteries can be used for a wide range of functions, including displays, transmission and advanced encryption processing. Conventional ORB‘s have a thickness of 0.7mm which makes them difficult to combine with IC cards of standard 0.76mm thickness.

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