<p>Today’s industrial robots are most often used by carmakers to handle single, heavy tasks. They can cost as much as $250,000 to $500,000 including the costs of protective fencing and specialist installers and programmers, Ostergaard said.</p>

SEQUIM, Wash. — Microchip has introduced a family of low-cost MCUs rich in features and scalable memory options. The PIC32MX1/2/5 series is a mix of the existing PIC32MX1/2 and PIC32MX5 series, and inherits the key features of both, including Bluetooth, digital audio, and USB host/peripheral/OTG connectivity from the MX1/2 series and CAN2.0B controllers from the MX5 series. The rich peripheral mix makes these devices cost-effective in a wide range of applications, from consumer digital audio to industrial communications.

Acquisitions let companies accelerate growth by increasing global footprint, product lines, and revenues. Lately, more and more test-equipment companies choose to go the acquisition route rather than grow their businesses organically. This can be attributed to several factors; as the communications market becomes more integrated, it becomes increasingly difficult for manufacturers to provide a product that does it all. Netscout Systems is continuing that trend.

On October 13, NetScout announced its acquisition of the Danaher Corp. communications businesses in a $2.6 billion deal. Businesses to be acquired in this deal are:

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This acquisition will significantly increase Netscout’s product line and make it a much larger provider of network performance monitoring, service assurance, and security products. It will also enable the company to enter other markets. In fact, Fluke Networks alone will increase Netscout’s share in network-performance monitoring equipment for enterprises to more than 20%, which will further strengthen the company’s leadership position.

Because Tektronix Communications acquired Newfield Wireless in December 2013, the acquisition will make Netscout the leader in VoLTE (voice-over LTE) monitoring with a market share exceeding 50% of the global VoLTE probe-based network monitoring systems.

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According to Frost & Sullivan research, Tektronix Communications is the leader in the markets for passive network monitoring and wireless protocol analyzers. With this acquisition, Netscout will have over 55% share in the passive network monitoring market and will extend its presence further to the service-provider community.

Netscout Systems jumped on the acquisition bandwagon quite a while ago, starting with Network General in 2007, then Psytechnics in 2011, Accanto Systems in 2012, and OnPath in 2013. With each acquisition, the company extended its product line and entered a new market, thus gaining greater market share and global footprint in addition to providing more value added products to customers.

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Netscout has been very successful with these acquisitions, and I see a lot of synergy among various products in this merger. Will Netscout become the so called one-stop stop” for all network performance intelligence needs of communications service providers, equipment manufactures, and enterprises? I think this is what the company has in mind and that this is where the market is heading.

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Smart materials are a hot topic nowadays, with improvements on thermal or acoustic performance, or even designed for energy-harvesting, such as photovoltaic windows. These tunable metasurfaces could create a new category of electromagnetically smart materials.”

ORLANDO, Fla. — Sony’s SmartWatch 3 is PNI Sensor’s first major design win for its SENtral, sensor fusion coprocessor. To help the rest of the world catch up to Sony, PNI Sensor Corp. (Santa Rosa, Calif.) is releasing the world’s first complete wearable development kit this week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES, Jan. 6-8, Las Vegas). The tiny circuit board integrates a PNI’s smart SENtral sensor hub, all necessary MEMS sensors and sensor-fusion algorithms, a programmable ARM processor and low-power Bluetooth, all in a form factor the size of a bracelet.

I believe the value in the wearables will come from data analytics,” CEO Becky Oh told EE Times. My hope is that tools like the SENtrode will help bring the next killer application to the market faster by ‘democratizing innovation.’

The SENtrode is small enough to base a smart watch or wellness monitor on. SENtrode is also available is a larger form factor suitable for inclusion in a smart home appliance (see photos).

We believe 20nm yields are approaching 80%, and 16 nanometer FF+ SRAM yields exceed 90%, improving confidence that FinFET will reach 1% of TSMC’s third-quarter 2015 sales, 10% of fourth-quarter 2015 sales, and approaching 20% by the first quarter of 2016,” Credit Suisse analyst Randy Abrams said in a Nov. 12 report following the TSMC announcement. TSMC also may secure Apple for the next iPad in the fourth quarter of 2015 and iPhone 7 orders in 2016.”

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