Artesyn Embedded Power

<p>As a result, the research firm expects the surplus of small and midsize LCDs to exceed demand by 20% in the fourth quarter of this year. Weak demand for cell phones, PDAs, and other portable products that incorporate smaller displays have created the imbalance.</p>

This method is similar to clustering, and is employed by Blue Wave Systems' FACT software to manage multiple DSPs across multiple DSP boards. FACT can operate using N+1 redundancy from a DSP board level right down to an individual resource level (which guards against possible software failure – however unlikely).

All the QWI work today is done by us,” said Ashe. He said the plant buy helps us to get up and running very quickly. We will put a substantial amount of capital equipment in there, which will help us enhance process development.”

He said the company is hoping to recruit 30 people in the next couple of months, with plans to expand the total workforce from 22 today to 80 by the end of the year.

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Other Scottish news

Small Scottish suppliers now feel the pinchScottish comms may be left in ‘second division’Solectron closes Glasgow site as part of a new round of worldwide job cutsAlba chief warns of threat to Scotland’s standing in electronicsScotland gets £8m fundingMotorola to shed more Scottish jobsAlba offers free consultancy to localsScottish buy saves jobsAPW may half Scottish staffDuPont blames Scottish closure on shrinking UK market

I recently read a column We need the right to repair our gadgets” in The Wall Street Journal (you can read it here or here) in which the author was angry about what he saw as the planned obsolescence” of so many electronic devices, and how we should demand that they be repairable. The example he used was a friend’s TV: when it failed, the estimates to get it repaired were on the order of $200-$300, which was too much for a $350 item.

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He decided to seize control for the situation, opened up the TV, found a visibly blown component that turned out to be a capacitor (now that’s luck!). Calling on some friends for help, he got a replacement part, bought a soldering iron, and watched a YouTube video on how to solder. Soon he had the unit working fine, at a cost of only a few dollars and a few hours.

I’ll say: good for him. What he did was sensible and worth trying. But that’s where my accolades stop. He went on to use this incident as an indicator of the broader example of how vendors are cleverly and deliberately using unrepairability and high repair costs as their planned obsolescence tactic, so that as soon as something fails, we might as well buy a new one.

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Part of that statement is true: these days, when something fails, it very often is not repairable, and that’s unfortunate. But the rationale for it is not planned obsolescence. Instead, it’s that if you want a product that is small, lightweight, and low cost, it usually has to be designed and built as a tightly packed device with little opportunity for disassembly, repair, and re-assembly. Today’s smartphones, for example, would not be possible in their size and price if removable boards and replaceable components (active and passive) were used.

Further, despite his bad experience with the blown capacitor, today’s electronics are actually fairly reliable; in fact, many of the failures” are really due to software bugs and physical repair isn’t the issue.

 

BT Wireless has conducted a successful public demonstration of mobile video telephony on its Manx Telecom third-generation (3G) network

The call used NEC's palm-sized image viewer terminals that were connected to 3G handsets.

Chris Hall, MD of Manx Telecom, said: This signifies another key step on the way to rolling out 3G on the Isle of Man.”

LDPC and soft-data decoding in NAND flashIf we assume that a hard-data LDPC decode fails, then things start to get very interesting for the SSD. We could decide to return an Unrecoverable Read Error” and tell the user that their data is lost forever, but end-users typically don’t like that ;-). If the SSD has an internal RAID system, we could use it to attempt to recover the user’s data at the expense of additional complexity and NAND capacity to calculate and store the RAID parity. However, with LDPC, there is a third option, which is to soften the data and attempt a soft-data LDPC decode. Note that this third option is not available in controllers that use less advanced error correction (for example BCH codes) because they cannot leverage soft information. This option allows us to move from the second column in Table 1 to the third column and operate in more noisy environments.

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