Deltenna in Chippenham sold to US corporation

July 21, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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Chippenham antenna specialist Deltenna has been bought by US corporation Cubic in an undisclosed deal.

Since 2002, Deltenna has developed a reputation for its expertise in specialist wireless communication technology including those for use by public safety and emergency response teams worldwide.

Deltenna designs and manufactures cutting-edge integrated wireless products including compact LTE base stations, broadband range extenders for areas of poor coverage and rugged antennas using rugged antennas are small, light and ideal for rapid deployment in emergency situations. The systems are based on the company’s extensive expertise in LTE, frequency re-banding and advanced antenna technologies. Deltenna currently has a portfolio of more than ten issued and pending patents in the fields of antennas and integrated wireless systems.

Cubic, based in San Diego,  designs, integrates and operates systems, products and services focused in the transportation, defence training and secure communications markets. Cubic Transportation Systems integrates of payment and information technology and services to create intelligent travel solutions for transportation authorities and operators. Cubic Global Defense provides of live, virtual, constructive and game-based training solutions, special operations and intelligence for the US and allied forces. Cubic Mission Solutions provides networked Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities for defence, intelligence, security and commercial missions.

“The addition of Deltenna aligns very well with Cubic’s culture of innovation and we are pleased to welcome Deltenna to our Cubic family,” said Bradley Feldmann, president and chief executive officer of Cubic Corporation. “With Deltenna, we will strengthen our capability of developing and integrating products that will change the way our military forces communicate, train and operate.”

www.cubic.com

Why I chose South West tech sector over California – Blu Wireless

July 4, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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Blu Wireless Technology MD Henry Nurser on the advantages (and challenges) of setting up in the technology cluster in Bristol

Source: Why I chose South West tech sector over California

Power Oasis teams for high endurance solar powered electric drones

June 29, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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PowerOasis in Swindon is working with Alta Devices to develop a power system reference design for Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (SUAS), or drones.

 Fly All Day with Alta Devices and PowerOasis (Photo: Business Wire)

This is the world’s first reference design for integrated solar and lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery power systems for small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). By combining Alta Devices’ lightweight solar panel technology with PowerOasis’ expertise in hybrid power systems, small UAV developers can focus on leveraging their core expertise in aircraft design and performance.

“Up until now, it’s been nearly impossible to develop a hybrid solar/Li-ion UAV architecture for small aircraft because the solar technology compromised the design too severely. That is no longer true with Alta Devices’ solar technology,” said Pete Bishop, CTO of PowerOasis.

The reference architecture will target 2-4 meter (6.5-13 feet) span UAVs, using 5s-7s Li-ion batteries. Features include high efficiency, light weight, modular power systems, management of battery packs using a cell vendor agnostic, flexible battery management system (BMS), communication to ground control and on-board auto pilot with continuous real time power and energy data and conditioned power outputs for critical power and payload systems.

“In the past, a UAV manufacturer had to work with multiple companies to obtain the solar technology, downstream electronics, and power management software to create a solar/Li-ion hybrid powered system. Then, they had to design the system themselves,” said Alta Devices Chief Marketing Officer, Rich Kapusta. “By working together and providing a complete architecture for a well-crafted power system, PowerOasis and Alta Devices are streamlining the UAV development process. We are providing a complete system for electric aircraft and UAVs, eliminating the distraction and time required to focus on the intricacies of power design.”

Aircraft designers will be able to use the reference design to manage the complete energy generation, storage and power management system for a UAV. This is without having to bring this capability in-house, saving time and resources than can be better allocated to payload design and aircraft aerodynamics.

Many aircraft companies are turning to solar to provide added endurance to UAVs. A typical battery-powered UAV can normally stay aloft for only a few hours. With solar added to the wings, the same aircraft could fly all day.

The targeted release-date for the design is late 2017 and it will be available initially through Alta Devices and PowerOasis.

PowerOasis is the industry leader in 50W to 20kW hybrid power systems & energy efficiency solutions for a wide range of applications, from telecoms to transport and military deployments, combining in-house power electronics and software expertise enabling bespoke or high volume, high quality, leading edge power solutions.

www.poweroasis.com

 

XMOS launches its first voice processors

June 28, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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XMOS in Bristol has launched a family of voice processors to provide far-field voice capture using arrays of MEMS microphones. The move marks a shift away from general purpose microcontrollers and AVB Ethernet controllers and into the market for voice controlled equipment such as Amazon’s Echo and Apple’s home speaker.

The XVF3000 has optional support for Sensory’s TrulyHandsfree technology, the industry’s leading voice-trigger solution and the Xcore architecture provides a flexible and cost effective always-on voice interface in a single device.

XMOS also announces the availability of a development kit (the XK VF3100 C43), which includes an XVF3000 processor card and a 4-mic circular microphone array. This kit provides a quick way to start developing far-field voice capture applications.

“Today is a very significant day for XMOS. We’re introducing XVF3000 and VocalFusion Speaker [development kit] as the first in a range of voice capture products. Based on our powerful and flexible xCORE microcontroller architecture, XVF voice processors open up new possibilities for designers looking to deliver high performance voice capture in a very cost-effective form factor,” said Mark Lippett, CEO at XMOS. “We’re excited to be at the forefront of the revolution driven by products like Amazon Echo and Google Home, which have shown the possibilities for voice interfaces. We are working worldwide with customers and partners to accelerate the adoption of voice as the interface of choice for the Internet of Things.”

The XVF3000 devices include speech enhancement algorithms that include an adaptive beamformer, which uses signals from four microphones to track a talker as they move, coupled with high performance full-duplex, acoustic echo cancellation. The controllers can be easily integrated with an applications processor or host PC via either USB for data and control or a combination of I2S and I2C. Developers can quickly add custom voice and audio processing using the XMOS free development tools.

XVF3000 devices are available immediately from XMOS, and the VocalFusion Speaker Development Kit will be available in July. Developers can register for early access to the Beta program and download further information at: www.xmos.com/xcorevocalfusion.

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FreeRTOS moves to 64bit

June 27, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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The world’s most popular real time operating system, FreeRTOS, has updated to version 9, supporting 64bit microcontrollers for the first time

FreeRTOS V9.x.x, deveoped and maintained in Bristol, is a drop-in compatible replacement for FreeRTOS V8.x.x that still supports 32bit operation and adds new features, enhancements and ports.

Two new configuration constants that allow FreeRTOS to be used without the need for any dynamic memory allocation have been introduced. through the configSUPPORT_STATIC_ALLOCATION and configSUPPORT_DYNAMIC_ALLOCATION constants.

The Win32 demo located in the /FreeRTOS/demo/WIN32-MSVC-Static-Allocation-Only directory is provided as a reference of how to create a project that does not include a FreeRTOS heap at all, and therefore guarantee no dynamic memory allocation is being performed.

Other additions include:

  • Creating Tasks and Other RTOS Objects Using Statically Allocated RAM
  • Forcing an RTOS Task To Leave the Blocked State
  • Deleting Tasks
  • Obtaining a Task Handle from the Task Name
  • Enhancements to the GCC ARM Cortex-A port layer relating to how the port uses the floating point unit.
  • Update the ARM Cortex-M RTOS ports that use the memory protection using (MPU).
  • Added vApplicationDaemonTaskStartupHook() which executes when the RTOS daemon task (which used to be called the timer service task) starts running. This is useful if the application includes initialisation code that would benefit from executing after the scheduler has been started.

All the details are at www.freertos.org/FreeRTOS-V9.html

Bristol shows plans for major new university campus

June 26, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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The University of Bristol has revealed its plans for the new £300 million campus next to Bristol Temple Meads and is urging local businesses and industry to feed into a large-scale consultation.

The Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus development will be one of the city’s most significant regeneration projects in recent history, with 35,000 sq m of flexible space for teaching and innovation, including EngineShed 3.

One of its key goals is to work with industrial partners to develop a talent pipeline of graduates who will support the city’s successful digital cluster.

The University is encouraging businesses to share their views and help shape the new campus by taking part in a public consultation, which will run online from 19 June to 21 July.

There will also be exhibitions of the plans at Engine Shed by Bristol Temple Meads and Beacon House on the Triangle from 20 June to 7 July, plus special consultation events at Engine Shed and Paintworks.

The seven-acre site, which spans the derelict former Royal Mail sorting office and part of Arena Island, will be close to business incubation centre Engine Shed, home to the University’s award-winning Bristol SETsquared Centre, which will also be expanding into new premises within the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone.

A range of new degree programmes will be designed and developed in collaboration with industry and other partner organisations, to ensure students educated on the Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus are equipped with the knowledge, skills, values and resilience to thrive and lead in a rapidly changing world.

“The new campus will focus on the digital technologies of the future and the skills, ethics, business models and infrastructure that turn digital opportunities into jobs, wealth and wellbeing that benefits the whole of society,” said Prof Dave Cliff, who is leading the academic side of the project. “We are working with partners, large and small, to put innovation at the heart of our campus and to build a talent pipeline of creative graduates who embrace social responsibility as well as opportunity. These graduates will be prepared to tackle global challenges that we can’t yet imagine.

“Our plan is for University staff and students to be co-located with partners from industry and commerce in the new buildings. We intend to work with our partners to co-design and co-deliver education and skills training in innovative new ways, better suited to the needs of employers and workers in the knowledge economy.”

Frofessor Hugh Brady, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Bristol, said: “We have been given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reimagine the future of our University as one of the world’s great civic universities while also transforming a key site at the heart of our city.

“Our new campus is very much a work in progress and we would welcome people’s feedback, on everything from education provision, research and innovation to community engagement and transport links.  We don’t know exactly what it will look like yet, but we do know that we want it to feel welcoming to everyone and to be a place for the whole city to learn, explore and enjoy.”

Although designs for the campus are in their infancy and will be informed by the outcome of the consultation, there are ambitions to develop landmark buildings and public spaces which will provide a fitting welcome to those travelling into Bristol.

Fully developed, the Enterprise Zone has the potential to attract over 17,000 jobs over its 25-year lifetime and add a further £100 million a year to the city’s economy.

A second round of consultation will follow in September before an outline planning application is submitted to Bristol City Council later in the year. Applications for individual buildings will follow, with further consultation in 2018/19, when building work is expected to start. The new campus is planned to open for 2021, says Cliffe.

www.bristol.ac.uk/TempleQuarter

Swindon plans Technology Innovation Centre at station

June 22, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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Swindon Borough Council has acquired the historic CarriageWorks building from Network Rail to develop a technology innovation centre.

The CarriageWorks is a Brunel heritage building, a five minute walk from Swindon station and will provide a total of 126k sqft. The Council has also acquired a carpark alongside, so there will be parking with conference facilities at the STEAM Museum next door.

The first phase of the refurbishment is around 10k sq ft by the end of the year. This will host 180 desks, plus meeting rooms and other facilities. The rest of the building will be offered to larger organisations to rent.

Forward Swindon is leading the project on behalf of the Council and looking to an operator for the Centre and secure tenants, particularly in smart cities and cybersecurity. It is also looking to build an investor network to support startups in the centre.

http://forwardswindon.co.uk/developments/carriage-works/

 

Zeetta software turns Ashton Gate stadium into a data lab

June 15, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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Startup Zeetta Networks has won a contract worth £1.8m to build a large-scale demonstrator of its Software Defined Networking (SDN) technology at the Ashton Gate sports stadium in Bristol, writes Nick Flaherty at TechSpark’s High Tech channel.

The contract from InnovateUK follows trials at the stadium last year and will see Zeetta’s NetOS software deployed throughout the stadium. Zeetta will build new business applications on top of the NetOS platform for the wide range of events at Ashton Gate alongside third-party providers, turning the stadium into a test lab for big data applications

The project has broader implications for Zeetta as NetOS can be applied to shopping centres, hospitals, airports and other venues with complex operating networks.

The project will connect tens of thousands of devices including mobile phones, cash tills, turnstiles,  display screens, air conditioning and heating as well as sensors and building management systems, all with software that is easy to set up, monitor and reconfigure in real time. Zeetta, a smart city spin-off from the University of Bristol, will also develop a programmable platform for new services by extracting data analytics from the network for new software apps.

“Stadia and other large venues, across the UK and beyond, are challenged by their consumer need for more data and faster response time particularly as they scale up their activities into new business areas,” said Vassilis Seferidis, CEO of Zeetta Networks. “This first-of-a-kind deployment forms a key part of our business plan by demonstrating our technological capabilities and the resulting commercial benefits for our customers.”

“We’ve been working with Zeetta Networks for the last 12 months and it is exciting to see the potential uses of this system unfold,” said Martin Griffiths, chairman of Ashton Gate. “Sports stadia across the globe struggle with connectivity and real-time evaluation of data. I believe we are just scratching the surface of what this NetOS platform can deliver and look forward to seeing its implementation over the coming year. Using Ashton Gate Stadium as a live test lab I’m confident that we will be able to drive greater fan engagement along with significant returns to our businesses.”

www.zeetta.com

Bristol researchers help build 5G wireless network

June 2, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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Bristol researchers are at the heart of a £6m project developing the next generation of optical networks to support 5G wireless technology.

The three-year METRO-HAUL project includes software defined networking (SDN) startup Zeetta Networks and the University of Bristol’s High Performance Networking group in the Department of Engineering alongside 19 other organisations around Europe. These include operators BT, Telecom Italia, and 02’s Spanish owner Telefonica, equipment makers Ericsson and Nokia, and German research group Fraunhofer Institute.

The next generation 5G technology is currently being developed to provide up to 1Gbit/s of download speed, but that will need to be supported by higher performance optical networks. The aim of the project is to design and build smart, cost-effective, optical systems for urban areas that can support increased traffic coming from all kinds of 5G links, whether these are base stations, small cells or connections from the Internet of Things (IoT).

By 2019 the project will build a 5G network with a range of services in a test-bed, and the software developed will be released as a public repository while the project will actively participate in the standardisation of 5G, promoting the tested solutions to the wider industry.

“We are very proud to have played a key role in this successful EU funding bid and to be collaborating with such a group of leading researchers, telecoms operators, innovative SMEs, and influencers in 5G,” says Vassilis Seferidis, CEO of Zeetta Networks. “This project scored very highly with the judging panel recognising its importance and the huge implications it brings to the telecoms industry and the verticals they support. It is another validation of Zeetta’s growing global profile and positions our software-designed networking technology as a highly innovative solution enabling programmability in both current and future networks.”

This is just one of several 5G projects that include technology companies from the region. For example, Blu Wireless Technology is part of the XHaul project that is looking at other ways to provide the links that will be needed and recently hosted all the researchers involved to collaborate in Bristol.

 

UltraSoC raises £5m for embedded analytics and looks to Bristol

May 30, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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Cambridge startup Ultrasoc has raised £5m from new and existing investors to further develop its embedded IP that helps system-on-chip designers analyse what is happening in complex chips with billions of transistors.

The money will be used for R&D and to boost the commercial team, increasing the staff from 20 to perhaps 30 says Rupert Baines, UltraSoC CEO, and looking at opening an office in Bristol.

The need for safety, security and performance-tuning is increasingly important and the embedded analytics allows the chip to monitor and optimise its own behaviour at a hardware level, as well as provide insights that enable engineers to make improvements and fix problems. The same technology can detect evolving real-world threats and problems – for instance those caused by malicious attacks. These features benefit any electronic system, but are particularly attractive in the automotive and high-performance computing (HPC) sectors.
“Hard tech is back in favour with the UK and global investment community, with recent funding for Ultrahaptics, Graphcore and SiFive (a fellow RISC-V proponent), plus successful exits at Movidius and Mobileye,” said Baines, UltraSoC CEO. “Our investors are excited by the potential of UltraSoC’s technology and are committed to supporting our aim of putting intelligent analytics into every chip.”

UltraSoC’s semiconductor intellectual property (SIP) enables designers to easily and cost-effectively create complex SoCs (systems on chip) with built-in intelligence that continuously monitors and responds to real-world behaviour. This allows SoCs to optimise power consumption and performance and deal with security threats or safety breaches.
Atlante Tech leads a strong line up of new investors including Enso VenturesOxford Capital, and successful CEO and serial entrepreneur Guillaume d’Eyssautier (former CEO of picoCHip and ganeral manager of Cadence Design Systems), who join existing investors Octopus Ventures and South East Seed Fund (FSE Group).
Successful development of the company’s debug tools and increased awareness of the technology’s potential benefits has meant a series of significant commercial engagements, with more in the pipeline. Amongst others, HiSilicon (Huawei), Imagination Technologies, Movidius (now Intel), and Microsemi all use UltraSoC technology in their designs, delivering proven hardware-embedded benefits to their customers. To ensure these benefits are accessible to customers in all sectors across the globe, UltraSoC partners with leading names in the semiconductor industry including ARM, Baysand, Cadence/Tensilica, CEVA, Codasip, Lauterbach, MIPS and Teledyne LeCroy.UltraSoC’s flagship product line is a suite of semiconductor IP that allows chip designers to integrate an intelligent analytics infrastructure into the core hardware of their devices. By monitoring and analysing the real-world behaviour of entire systems via UltraSoC’s intelligent analytics embedded in the silicon, engineers can take action to reduce system power consumption, increase performance, protect against malicious intrusions, and ensure product safety.

These capabilities address applications in a broad range of market sectors, from automotive and IoT products, to at-scale computing and communications infrastructure.

Source: The Embedded Blog: UltraSoC raises £5m for embedded analytics

First group of Bristol quantum entrepreneurs set out

May 22, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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Quantum technology developed in Bristol is being used in medical screening, drone-based gas-leak detection and cryptography.

Three of the entrepreneurs on this year’s programme at the Quantum Technology Enterprise Centre (QTEC), the first, have been showing their plans. The course at the University of Bristol combines business training with technology development and is looking to recruit 11 more entrepreneurs for next year’s programme.

Neciah Dorh of FluoretiQ is developing a handheld fluorescent sensor that is 100 times more sensitive than today’s systems. The first product is for testing water quality by detecting bacteria at a level of parts per trillion.

Dorh is also looking at using the sensor to detect the bacteria that cause sepsis in hospital. This currently takes from 10 to 24 hours, so he is working with the department of medicine in an InnovateUK project to develop a chemical tag for the bacteria so that a handheld sensor that can provide a result instantly.

Meanwhile Xiao Ai has been working on ways to use single photon measurement technology to detect gas leaks from pipelines. Quantum Light Metrology is using quantum sensor technology licensed by the University of Bristol to Swiss company IDQ to build a lightweight sensor that can be installed on a drone.

The software allows the sensor to detect the gas leaks from a distance of 50m from a drone moving at 30mph, and QLM is working with drone operator Sky-Futures to monitor pipelines and gas installations around the world.

The most advanced technology in the programme is aiming to provide quantum cryptography for communications systems. KETS Quantum Security has developed a commercial chip that can make unbreakable cryptography systems that are ten times smaller, faster and cheaper than today’s systems, says Philip Sibson, chief technology officer. The technology has been demonstrated in the lab and the company, now with five people, is working with a European defence company on using the system on a drone.

You can apply for QTEC’s next programme here. See the story on the High Tech channel at TechSpark

Bristol IoT innovator merges with its equipment supplier

April 26, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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Bristol-based IoT equipment developer Telemisis has merged with its manufacturing supplier, Tioga in Derby.

The new Tioga Group employs over 150 people across the UK and includes Telemisis, Tioga, Internet-of-Things startup Sixis, surveillance equipment developer Audiotel International and a minority interest in SurePulse Medical, a joint venture with the University of Nottingham.

All the companies in the new group will continue to trade under their own names. Telemisis  is one of the UK’s leading providers of advanced remote monitoring, control and Internet of Things systems and has recently spun out Sixis.

“As an established exporter, we know that Brexit will create new and exciting opportunities for international trade. At Tioga Group we are investing now in expanding our world-class manufacturing and product capabilities, to fully exploit these opportunities,” said Professor Warwick Adams, group managing director.

As part of the merger, the co-founders of Telemisis, Tony Richardson and Chris Begent (above) will join the board of the new group.

“Bringing together the respective strengths of Tioga, Telemisis and Audiotel will allow us to drive our growth, both at home and internationally,” said Richardson, “By leveraging our combined expertise in development, manufacturing, sales and marketing, we will accelerate the introduction of innovative new products, demanded by our customers.”

Tioga was founded in 1996 and is one of the UK’s leading privately owned Contract Electronic Manufacturers (CEM), providing electronic assembly and complete product manufacturing.

You can find more details on Telemisis here

World’s largest ARM-based supercomputer to be built in Bristol

April 5, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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The University of Bristol is leading a £3m project to build the world’s largest ARM-based supercomputer. Isambard is being developed by researchers at Bristol, Bath, Cardiff and Exeter along with the Met Office and super computer maker Cray, which has its European headquarters and research centre in Bristol.
This will be one of the world’s first systems to be based on the Vulcan server-class chip being developed by Broadcom, which also has a software development centre in Bristol. Details of this device are still under wraps, but it promises much more memory bandwidth rather than higher peak performance, making it very attractive for researchers around the country tackling big problems.

“Isambard is an exciting experiment,” said project leader Simon McIntosh-Smith, Professor of High Performance Computing at the University of Bristol. “If we discover that ARM processors are competitive in HPC, then Isambard could be the first of a new generation of ARM-based supercomputers, ushering in an era of wider architectural choice, with greater opportunities for differentiation between supercomputer vendors. These outcomes should mean that scientists can choose systems more highly optimised to solve their problem, delivering even more exciting scientific breakthroughs at greater cost effectiveness than ever before.”

Read more at Bristol and Bath build world’s largest ARM-based supercomputer on the TechSpark High Tech channel

Bath researcher uses chaos theory for smart pacemaker

March 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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Chaos theory improves heart disease treatment in smart pacemaker

Sensor fusion and nonlinear systems at heart of £4m European project led by University of Bath
Read more on the TechSpark High Tech channel …

Autonomous drones tested out in Bristol

February 20, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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Great piece on the autonomous drone racing at UWE from the Bristol Post

Source: World’s best drone pilots head to Bristol for ‘Scalextric’-style race | Bristol Post

Battery uses nuclear waste for long term power -TechSPARK

December 8, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
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Researchers at the University of Bristol have developed a way to use nuclear waste to generate electricity in a battery. The team, led by Tom Scott, Professor in Materials in the University’s Interface Analysis Centre and a member of the Cabot Institute, have grown a man-made diamond that, when placed in a radioactive field, is able to generate electricty for low power applications […]

Source: Battery uses nuclear waste for long term power -TechSPARK

Bristol welcomes its first science incubator: Unit DX -TechSPARK

November 24, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
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The foundations for Unit DX, Bristol’s first science incubator, have been firmly laid and construction has begun. The scientific entrepreneurs of the city are welcoming the incubator with open arms as the build will provide much-needed support for science-based startups, as well as create a new dynamic to Bristol’s ever growing tech scene. “We decided to […]

Source: Bristol welcomes its first science incubator: Unit DX -TechSPARK

Where did the Bristol and Bath tech cluster come from? -TechSPARK

November 24, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
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The success of the globally significant tech cluster goes back many years

Source: Where did the Bristol and Bath tech cluster come from? -TechSPARK

Exeter’s new version of graphene boosts flexible displays

June 23, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
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Researchers from the University of Exeter have pioneered an innovative new way to use graphene to make flexible screens more effective and efficient.

By using GraphExeter – a material adapted from graphene to be more transparent, lightweight and flexible for conducting electricity through an extra layer of ferric chloride – the team have increased the brightness of flexible lights by up to almost 50 per cent.

The research has also shown that using GraphExeter makes the lights 30 per cent more efficient than existing examples of flexible lighting, which are based on state-of-the-art commercial polymers.

The research team believe the technology could help significantly improve the viability of the next generation of flexible screens for smartphones or wearable electronic devices such as clothing containing computers or MP3 players.

“This exciting development shows there is a bright future for the use of GraphExeter in transforming flexible lighting on a mass scale, and could help revolutionise the electronics industry,” said one of the lead researchers, University of Exeter physicist Dr Saverio Russo.

“Not only are lights that use GraphExeter much brighter, they are also far more resilient to repeated flexing, which makes ‘bendy’ screens much more feasible for day to day goods such as mobile phones.”

Currently, flexible screens are still in their infancy and although they are useable, the size of the screens are limited by the materials used for mass production, which can cause a visible gradient of brightness as the size of screen increases.

By substituting graphene for GraphExeter, the team of researchers were able to create a lit screen that showed a far greater and consistent light than has previously been possible. Furthermore, the screens were more resilient to continued flexing, meaning that they have a longer shelf-life before needing to be replaced.

Dr Monica Craciun, also from the University of Exeter added: “The next step will be to embed these ultra-flexible GraphExeter lights on textile fibres and pioneer ground-breaking applications in health care light therapy.”

At just one atom thick, graphene is the thinnest substance capable of conducting electricity. It is very flexible and is one of the strongest known materials. The race has been on for scientists and engineers to adapt graphene for flexible electronics. This has been a challenge because of its sheet resistance, graphene dissipates large amounts of energy.

In 2012 the teams of Dr Craciun and Profesor Russo, from the University of Exeter’s Centre for Graphene Science, discovered that sandwiched molecules of ferric chloride between two graphene layers make a whole new system that is more than a thousand times a better conductor of electricity than graphene and by far the best known transparent material able to conduct electricity. The same team have now discovered that GraphExeter is also more stable than many transparent conductors commonly used by, for example, the display industry.

GraphExeter LED video

Bristol researchers set new world record in 5G wireless spectrum efficiency

May 20, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
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A team of 5G engineers from the Universities of Bristol and Lund has once again set a new world record for wireless spectrum efficiency, less than two months after setting the first one.

In an experiment using 128 base station antennas, the research group managed to serve 22 users, each modulated with 256-QAM, on the same time-frequency resource.  With an identical frame structure they used in theprevious experiment, this would equate to a rate of 145.6 bits/s/Hz on a single 20 MHz radio channel.

The team beat its earlier record of 79.4 (bits/s)/Hz for 12 users set in March, and the rate of 71 (bits/s)/Hz that Facebook achieved for 24 users last month with its 96-antenna ARIES array.

The group’s latest achievement with massive multiple antenna MIMO arrays, which are cellular base stations with dozens of antennas deployed at the base station, shows that this technology could deliver ultra-fast data speeds to more smartphones and tablets than ever before.

Industry has said it will require a 1,000-fold increase in capacity in order for 5G to function as anticipated.  Massive MIMO technology is important if increased capacity is to be reached but it is thought that much of the 5G capacity can and will come in the longer term from using 5G technologies such as millimetre-wave (mmWave) and beamforming.

“Unlike at mmWave frequencies, below 6GHz, very little new spectrum is anticipated for 5G services,” said Professor Andrew Nix, Dean of Engineering and Head of the CSN Group. “To meet capacity demands in the microwave bands the only solution is to deploy technologies offering radically enhanced spectral efficiency; hence the global importance of massive MIMO and the significance of smashing through the 100 bits/sec/Hz barrier.”

In its demonstration conducted in the atrium of Bristol’s Merchant Venturers Building, the team used flexible prototyping platform from National Instruments (NI) based on LabVIEW system design software and PXI hardware.

The hardware behind this demonstration was provided to Bristol University as part of Bristol Is Open, a joint venture with Bristol City Council that aims to become the world’s first Open Programmable City

Spectrum and power efficient wireless communications are core to Bristol University’sCommunication Systems and Networks (CSN) Group and the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT in Communications as well as to the Department of Electrical and Information Technology at Lund University.

Liang Liu, Associate Professor with the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University, said: “In addition to investigating spectrum efficiency gains, an initial power control algorithm was tested, users were placed in different locations and use of the equipment over night to obtain calibration data for comparison purposes with the Lund set-up”

Fredrik Tufvesson, Professor of Radio Systems at Lund University, added: “Field trials in different deployment scenarios is needed to validate the concept of massive MIMO and we are looking forward to the future mobility test at both universities”

Ove Edfors, Professor of Radio Systems at Lund University, commented: “A true team work that with great results. Our postgraduate students Joao Vieira and Steffen Malkowsky did a great job together with the Bristol team, Paul Harris, Benny Chitambira Wael Boukley Hasan, Henry Brice, Siming Zhang and our host Mark Beach.”

Mark Beach, Professor of Radio Systems Engineering in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Manager of the EPSRC CDT in Communications, explained: “Rapid deployment and experimentation of this scale and complexity was made possible through collaborative efforts of post graduate students and academic staff at both Universities. The results are a true testament of our efforts and a noteworthy contribution towards the evolution of 5G.”

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