There are many applications, particularly in the medical space, where ferroelectric RAM, or FRAM, is the memory technology of choice. Unlike EEPROM of flash memory, FRAM doesn’t need a high internal voltage for writing operations, thereby increasing both the writing speed and the endurance of the memory. Also key to medical applications is the fact that the FRAM is resistant to...
 A benchtop UV-curing conveyor unit can provide up to 400 mW/cm2 of intensity, which can facilitate fast and complete curing for potting and conformal applications. The Dymax UVC-5 system can be part of a production line or used as standalone equipment for curing UV adhesives as well as UV curable inks and coatings. It can cure up to 10 meters per minute, with complete shielding from UV...
Sensor market growth is outpacing that of the semiconductor industry as a whole, thanks in part to demand from the medical device industry. According to "Q3 Sensors and MEMs Market Tracker," a market research report from MarketResearch.com, the sensors market hit nearly $7 billion last year. The report also predicts demand for sensors will continue to grow as the products are integrated...
Engineers often work behind the scenes, but Analog Devices (Norwood, MA) recently shined the spotlight on three of its best. Senior engineers Susan Feindt, John Green, and Peter Hurrell were appointed Analog Devices fellows by company chairman and co-founder Ray Strata during Analog Devices' 2011 General Technical Conference, in March. The fellows serve as ambassadors for the company. “The...
Test strategies are mandatory for every company, whether they are applying diagnostics in the development stage or ensuring quality during manufacturing. As such, it is virtually impossible to have a one-size-fits-all test strategy because there are so many variables and specifics. For example, because of their miniaturized and highly integrated components, circuit board test strategies require...
It's not every day that a company completely changes the course of manufacturing technology. Intel Corp. may be doing just with its announcement of a significant breakthrough in the evolution of the transistor. Intel is introducing a 3-D transistor design called Tri-Gate into high-volume manufacturing at the 22-nm node in an Intel chip codenamed "Ivy Bridge." According to the company...
A counterfeit electronic component operating in a medical electronics system may make itself known when the system experiences an unexpected failure. The failure may be relatively innocuous—a monitoring device that suddenly begins to display meaningless numbers—or it may be directly life-threatening, such as a functional failure in a defibrillator. Even after the failure has occurred...
A new artificial retina may prove to be a sight for blind eyes. A device firm called Second Sight is behind the product, which just earned approval in the EU (you know, where the public is used as guinea pigs).   A miniature video camera is mounted in a pair of glasses. A transmitter built into the glasses delivers the images to a chip implanted in the back of the damaged eye. The...
Over at MD+DI, Thomas Blair writes: With the 510(k) controversy simmering at a low boil for now, FDA has introduced yet another pathway to get new medical devices to market—an “innovation” pathway, to be precise.   The agency’s proposed “Innovation Pathway” would put “pioneering medical devices” on the fast-track to review, with CDRH drawing up...
Reducing the component count in a system is usually a good thing. When you can reduce components and add functionality at the same time, then you really have a potential win. That’s exactly what Analog Devices claims to have done with its ADAS1000 electrocardiogram (ECG) analog front end (AFE). Dubbed as diagnostic-level silicon, the fully integrated part offers a performance level that...
Most medical equipment manufacturers in India rely on imported semiconductors. However, it is estimated that in three to four years Indian suppliers will be able to meet indigenous industry demand. Some of the upcoming projects are based in Agartala, Bangalore, Bhopal, Bhuvaneshwar, Chennai, Delhi, Faridabad, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Kolhapur, Kolkata and Mumbai.   Most of this development is made...
Powerhouses IBM and Samsung have announced that they are collaborating on next-generation semiconductors. Specifically, researchers will investigate new semiconductor materials and manufacturing processes to develop a process technology that can be used in a variety of applications.   “We are pleased to have our top-level scientists involved with the cutting-edge research that...
This just in, from Dave Carey, VP of Technical Intelligence at UBM TechInsights: At DesignMED in Anaheim on Feb. 8, I’ll be performing an in-conference Tear Down of the Omron HEM-Solar, a traditional blood pressure monitor (BPM) with the twist of solar-powered operation. While usable with AAA batteries (not included), the unit also runs from an AC adapter or from the built-in rechargeable...
I had a conversation this morning with Matt Langman, marketing director of Intel's embedded computing division. He called in from CES to discuss Intel's new second-generation Core processors. The processors, which are based on new architecture, have been in the works for a few years. They are used in a variety of market segments, but seven of the processors are specifically designed for...
I don't know about you, but I'm ready for next year. As 2010 comes to a close, I thought it would be interesting to see what stories resonated with readers. The following are the five most popular MED blog entries for the year:   Feds Dimiss Claims Against CDRH Three Firms Get a Texas-Sized Investment Is Samsung Ready to Test the Medical Waters? Robotic Companies Walk the Walk IEC...
I was just in Las Vegas about two weeks ago for my birthday (and yes, I'm still accepting gifts). It's one of my favorite places to visit because, like one of my colleagues once said, it's an adult Disneyland. I came, I saw, I ate, and I gambled (for the curious readers, I prefer craps, blackjack, roulette, and sports). And the rest, well, you know what they say—...
Microsemi has kept itself busy lately. In addition to fending off a patent infringement suit and gearing up for DesignMED, several company reps sat with MED's editors last week to discuss their goals and the industry in general. Microsemi wants to be a billion dollar company, and it is hoping that its line of FPGAs will help get it there. (Technically, the FPGAs were developed by Actel, which was...
Moderated by MPMN editor-in-chief Shana Leonard, the roundtable consisted of Jim Ohneck, vice president of sales and marketing (USA) at Valtronic Technologies (Solon, OH); Mitchell Gebheim, senior manager of product development at Benchmark Electronics (Angleton, TX); and Karthik Ramaswami, director of product development at EaglePicher Medical Power (Plano, TX). MPMN: In honor of MPMN’s...
Smart chips may be the next frontier in neurotechnology—at least that's the hope down under. Researchers in Sydney, Australia, are preparing for human trials next year of a spinal device that can measure and stop pain signals from traveling to the brain.   Image courtesy of NICTA The smart chip is housed in a biocompatible device that is slightly smaller than the head of a...
That is the charge being levied by critics against former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold’s company Intellectual Ventures. The patent-hungry firm has bought up 30,000 patents and has threatened litigation against any company that doesn't sign a licensing agreement.   “We are no different from any other high-tech company that has valuable intellectual property,” says Melissa...
An embedded single-board computer (SBC) is based on the configurable Intel Atom E600C processor series with industrial temperature range. The PCIe-104 pairs an Intel Atom E600 series processor with an Altera field programmable gate array (FPGA) in a single package. Flexible FPGA I/O options allow OEMs to efficiently develop designs with the exact I/O requirements needed. Validated IP cores are...
Note: This is the fifth in a six-part series that explores the legality, methodology, and application of reverse engineering as it pertains to the IP lifecycle to help companies moving into the market for consumer-grade medical devices understand how and why they must protect their intellectual property rights. Other articles in this series: Part I: Look Before You Leap Part II: ...
Embedded systems development has long been associated with terms such as smaller, faster, smarter, and connected, while the costs for these systems continue to fall. These attributes also nicely sum up the trends affecting the medical market. Medical devices have been shrinking from room- or cart-sized devices to briefcase- or handheld-sized devices. They are performing more tasks and doing it...
Samplify Systems and Telemed Ltd. announced at RSNA that they will jointly develop an ultrasound platform for medical OEMs. The system will use Samplify's front-end beamforming platform, based on its proprietary Autofocus technology, as well as Telemed's image processing and configurable graphics user software interface. The two suppliers say that the "alliance provides ultrasound...
Note: This is the fourth in a six-part series that explores the legality, methodology, and application of reverse engineering as it pertains to the IP life cycle. The goal is to help companies moving into the market for consumer-grade medical devices understand how and why they must protect their intellectual property right (IPR). When Apple released its much-hyped iPad over the Easter weekend,...