A New Generation of Field Programmable Gate Arrays

I just read this post on the Earthtron blog about Xilinx’s new Field Programmable Gate Arrays.  I strongly believe Xilinx has made great strides to improve the Kintex-7 Line.

Reducing power consumption by 40% will strengthen applications from long distance WAN support to improving live events such as radio and satellite feeds. These are paramount improvements in actual real time applications to move toward an Internet-of-Things.

Reminder of Why Not to Buy Suspected Counterfeit or Gray Market Products

Electronic Products and Technology,  ept.ca, one of Canada’s Leading Electronics websites published two articles that outline the risks of buying and using counterfeit components. The articles are  Why Buy Authentic? The Case Against Counterfeit Products and Protecting Yourself from Counterfeit and Gray Market Components.

In addition to the practices and precautions mentioned in the articles, it is strongly recommended that any components that are purchased without an authentic manufacturers C of C Certificate of compliance should undergo Fraudulent/Counterfeit Electronic Parts: Avoidance, Detection, Mitigation testing in accordance with SAE Aerospace standard AS6081.

 

Xerox’s Printed Memory in the Fight to Combat Counterfeits

In Xerox Launches Printed Memory Products to Combat Counterfeiting, they describe two new printed electronic label products that can be used to track parts from factory to end-user.

I commend Xerox for this ground breaking endeavor in anti-counterfeit technology.
I feel that this rewritable memory is paramount in tracking a component’s authenticity and how it has been handled during distribution.

The cryptographic security is an inexpensive process and will be very difficult to copy.

New JEDEC standard JESD243 Addresses Handling of Counterfeit Components

I would like to commend JEDEC on issuing JESD243 last month. This standard sets best practices that will make a difference in the ongoing fight to mitigate counterfeit product distribution. You can read JEDEC’s announcement of the standard here.

Not only do I feel it is an outstanding resource to manufacturers but more importantly its defined standards of a product return policy as well as a return verification and prohibition on the restocking of confirmed counterfeit parts is a great asset in tackling the never ending epidemic of counterfeit product distribution.

LEDs Light Path to Map the Brain

Researchers at the University of Michigan are using mice to determine how neural networks really work.

According to the Earthtron Blog ( http://blog.earthtron.com/tiny-leds-allow-researchers-to-map-the-brain),  researchers placed  light-emitting diodes (LEDs) into mice brains, “allowing researchers to determine how stimuli to one neuron affects other neurons in the area. Each LED is less than a tenth of a millimeter wide, approximately the same size as a neuron.” Continue reading “LEDs Light Path to Map the Brain”

Counterfeit Chip traffickers arrested for redistributing semiconductors to US military

Three Chinese nationals were arrested for trafficking in stolen Intel and Xilinx chips. A US undercover agent initially expressed interest in buying the electronic components for use on US Navy submarines.  Later in the process , the undercover  agent expressed concern about being caught using stolen semiconductors. The traffickers then offered up counterfeit parts to him instead of the stolen components.

Stolen components or counterfeit components — either one brings it own set of problems if  they enter the  US military supply stream and are eventually used in place of authentic parts.

“The Justice Department and our federal law enforcement partners are committed to prosecuting those who would supply our armed forces with counterfeit electronic components, as well as those who attempt to steal sophisticated U.S. military components and distribute them places unknown,” said U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly, in announcing the charges.

Both counterfeit and stolen parts are indeed serious issues,. To read the full article see, http://www.electronicsweekly.com/news/business/fbi-arrests-counterfeit-chip-traffickers-2015-12/

 

Virtual Reality Athletic Training

I found this really interesting blog on how the NFL is using technology to improve training.   I personally like the idea of how they are embracing new ways to enhance the viewer’s experience of the game but more importantly of how it will enhance the performance of each team member by virtual reality training.

This is the beginning of a revolution sure to grow into all aspects of the sporting world.

Digital Delay/Pulse Generator has Useful LED Output

The Model 577 Digital Delay/Pulse Generator from Berkeley Nucleonics includes several features to optimize measurement accuracy. The Model 577 offers 250-ps  width and delay resolution, while keeping internal jitter to less than 200 ps. The Model 577, which is outfitted with four or eight channels, performs gating, triggering, delaying, clocking, and synchronization with timing precision that is sufficient for almost any application.

Each of the Model 577’s outputs can be individually configured with its own trigger, gate, delay, and width settings, giving you maximum control over your measurements. Inputs and outputs can be all electrical, all optical, or a combination of both. I particularly appreciate the LED output stage, which is available at the front panel. This will simplify measurements in noisy environments or for communications applications. This modular option can be configured for two, four, or eight outputs at 820 nm or 1300 nm.

I recommend learning more about this model. You can read more here: http://www.edn.com/electronics-products/other/4440292/Delay-pulse-generator-delivers-picosecond-resolution.

Augmented Reality Glasses to Help the Legally Blind

There is a terrific article in the MIT Technology Review about a prototype for a new device to help the near-blind see and navigate their surroundings. Read it here.

I truly believe that these new wearable electronic glasses that allow people with little sight or who are legally blind to actually see is revolutionizing the industry at amazing speed.

It is a gift from science that these glasses can help legally blind people see people’s faces from up close and afar as well as TV, entertainment, newspapers, books, menus, signs and other reading materials from any distance.  There are a series of these glasses in particular that address all types of vision loss from diabetic retinal disease to ocular and macular degeneration.

I applaud the engineering and development implemented in this revolutionary discovery.

Protect Yourself When Buying Obsolete Electronic Components

Tips to Identify and Avoid Counterfeit Components

You can’t be too careful when you are buying obsolete electronic components. Counterfeit electronic components are a pervasive issue,particularly when dealing with obsolete parts.  John Pallazola offers four “Golden Rules” to follow when buying obsolete parts:

  1. Verify the trustworthiness of the supplier
  2. Ensure the traceability of the paperwork, including COC and invoices
  3. Test the parts to confirm that they operate properly
  4. Confirm details such as quantity and date codes from the supplier

I strongly recommend comprehensive testing of the parts following AS5553’s counterfeit parts avoidance training compliance, IDEA’s method 1010 inspection and AS 6081 Fraudulent Electronics Parts Avoidance, Detection and Mitigation test practices.

For more information about counterfeit testing for obsolete parts and to learn how NJMET can help you, email jgfederico@njmet.com.