The world is breaking apart, literally and metaphorically. Oil tanker-sized chunks of polar ice are disintegrating at an unprecedented rate. Tribalism is resurgent. The number of independent countries has tripled since the end of WWII, according to one estimate. Supranational bodies like the EU and NATO are under threat. Identity politics are rife.
The telecom industry is witnessing its own breakup after a long period of globalization that culminated in the development of a single, international 5G standard. Despite fears that some countries or companies would “fork” these efforts in pursuit of commercial advantage, network operators in all regions can today invest in the same underlying technology, even if attempts to harmonize spectrum allocation have proven less successful.
Such coordination never happened in the 2G, 3G and 4G eras, and it promises benefits for the owners and users of mobile technology. But the system that produced it has recently taken a pounding.
The beginning of a new decade is an excellent time to take stock of the additive manufacturing (AM) industry to see what has changed over the last 10 years – how AM is being used, what challenges continue to impact the industry, and what the future holds.
Stratasys Direct Manufacturing and SME Media surveyed 700 engineers and designers from small design shops to some of the largest companies in the world, including Airbus, Walt Disney Company, Ford and Google, to see how they were utilizing 3D printing and where they anticipate it will grow in 2020.
The survey provided valuable insight into the business benefits companies (or users) have seen from 3D printing and how they intend to incorporate it in the coming years.
Next-generation 5G technology offering advanced mobile internet connectivity with faster speeds creates new business opportunities by enabling a variety of internet of things (IoT) and big data applications. These applications are driving unprecedented demand for connecting additional types of powered devices (PDs) to Ethernet networks including IP surveillance cameras, 802.11ac and 802.11ax access points, LED luminaires, 5G small cells, and other IoT appliances.
Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) technology offers numerous advantages for powering these devices in 5G deployments, and the latest Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) 802.3bt standard makes this possible by pushing the power limit of power-sourcing equipment (PSE) and powered devices (PDs) to 90 W and 71.3 W, respectively.
The challenge is how to deploy PDs that support this latest generation of PoE technology so that they can work alongside existing pre-IEEE 802.3bt two-pair and four-pair PDs that support earlier pre-standard Universal PoE (UPOE) and Power-over-HDBaseT (POH) specifications.
The industry has now bridged this interoperability gap, ensuring that both pre-standard and new IEEE 802.3bt-2018–compliant PDs can share the same Ethernet infrastructure without requiring changes to existing switches or cabling.
A novel acoustic-based backscatter design offers an innovative scheme for underwater energy harvesting and data transmission.
That’s why a recent study by a team at MIT is fascinating. Not only did the researchers use a clever “twist” to harvest the energy, but they also tightly integrated the harvesting scheme with the data reporting itself. The team combined two very different phenomena — the piezoelectric effect and backscattering — to provide a modest data-rate, battery-free underwater sensor and data link, which they call a Piezo-Acoustic Backscatter (PAB) system.
Backscatter itself is a well-known technique often used with passive RFID and other systems; it uses directed, impinging energy to stimulate, power, and provide a response, usually in the electromagnetic RF world.
Lockheed Martin has leveraged augmented, mixed reality to reduce touch labor for the Orion spacecraft.
To hear the purveyors and early adopters of augmented reality platforms tell it, the technology is emerging as the ultimate “measure twice, cut once” reference check for an increasing number of mission-critical aerospace and military systems.
Last fall, we reported on Lockheed Martin Corp.’s embrace of augmented reality technology as it builds NASA’s Orion spacecraft. The world’s largest defense contractor is working with large and small AR developers to speed the presentation of workflow data spanning assembly, test and maintenance.
By most indications, small cells are the future of cellular and 5G: Those big, 100-foot tall macro cell towers that loom outside of town can’t cut it anymore. They can’t keep up with the growth in traffic across 3G, 4G, and 5G networks, and they’re too tall and spread out to use for transmissions in higher spectrum bands like the millimeter wave (mmWave) bands that Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile are in part using for 5G. (mmWave signals can only travel a few thousand feet.)
Network operators around the world are looking to “densify” their networks with small cells, which are essentially pizza box-size transmitters installed on top of light poles, rooftops and other so-called “street furniture.” Ultimately, the US wireless industry is expected to install almost a million small cells around the country in the years to come — trade group CTIA forecasts that the number of small cells in the US will grow from around 86,000 in 2018 to over 800,000 by 2026.
The Japanese government is to provide financial aid to Japanese submarine cable suppliers and investors to counter Chinese rivals.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications will shortly finalize an “overseas expansion action plan” that would include specific policies to support submarine cable projects, Yomiuri Shimbun reports.
New subsea cable systems would receive loans or investment funds channeled through the public-private Japan ICT Fund (JICT).
Recipients would include systems suppliers such as NEC as well as cable investors like NTT Communications and KDDI. The scheme would also include indemnities from the government-funded Nippon Export and Investment Insurance.
NEC is one of the world’s big three subsea cable systems suppliers, along with France’s Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) and US-based Subcom.
The latest financial results published by South Korea’s big mobile operators show exactly why some investors are jittery about 5G.
The reports that KT Corp and SK Telecom this week revealed have one common feature: a decline in profits triggered by early spending on the new mobile technology.
SKT could not even boast an increase in revenues at its mobile network business, blaming price cuts for a 2.5% dip in sales last year, to about 11.4 trillion Korean won (US$9.6 billion). In the meantime, its operating income fell 7.6%, to KRW1.1 trillion ($920 million).
Capital expenditure was up sharply, as well, rising 37.1%, to roughly KRW2.9 trillion ($2.4 billion), because of investments in 5G coverage expansion.
Sophisticated power management is essential to keep up the rapid progress of digital technology. The use of energy harvesting solutions can contribute to an important turning point for ultra-low power solutions in the IoT.
Achieving so-called zero-power sensors will require harvesting energy from sources in the environment. After narrowing down one’s options to available sources, the next criteria will be the amount of energy available and the amount of energy needed.
Solar and wind harvesting, for example, can provide a solid foundation for high power solutions.
Heat, meanwhile, is often readily available as waste by-product from engines, machines, and other sources. Thermal gradient harvesting is the process of capturing environmental heat and putting it to use. And among the many ways to tap environmental phenomena for energy, the use of piezoelectric devices to convert vibrations into electrical energy seems particularly effective, with the ability to produce hundreds of microwatts (µW/cm2), depending on size and construction.
Assuring the security of devices connected to Internet of Things (IoT) and especially Industrial IoT (IIoT) networks is a problem that’s not going away. The more devices that get connected, the more are getting hacked and attacked. But it’s not just devices — it’s their data that’s at risk. And that data is being shared and stored in the cloud.
As data processing and storage, data management, and data analytics of IoT/IIoT devices are shifted to the cloud, the need to access them by many different types of users has multiplied. This means a huge increase in the need to secure both the devices and their data, as cloud-related data breaches continue to occur.