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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Scientists Making Fishy Robots For Naval Research

October 23, 2012 5:06 am | by Janet McConnaughey, Associated Press | News | Comments

An eel undulating through coastal waters, powered by batteries and checking for mines. A jellyfish is actually a surveillance robot, powered by the atoms around it. Fins pick up intelligence while propelling a robot bluegill sunfish. The Office of Naval Research is supporting baby steps toward making those visions of the future a reality.

NYC In Quest To Become Tech Capital

October 22, 2012 8:20 am | by Jennifer Peltz, Associated Press | News | Comments

The city isn't there, at least not yet, but it can point to a series of promising signs. Tech titans including Google and Facebook have ramped up their presences in New York in recent years. Some big-name newcomers are headquartered here. Entrepreneurs say New York also faces particular challenges, including spotty broadband access in some areas and a limited tech talent base.

Digi-Key Corporation and Touchstone Semiconductor Sign Global Distribution Agreement

October 19, 2012 4:54 pm | News | Comments

Global electronic components distributor Digi-Key Corporation, recognized by design engineers as having the industry’s largest selection of electronic components available for immediate shipment, and Touchstone Semiconductor, a developer of high-performance, low power analog integrated circuit solutions, today announced the signing of a global distribution agreement in which Digi-Key will distribute all of Touchstone’s analog IC products.

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AMD To Lay Off Nearly 1,800

October 19, 2012 8:33 am | News | Comments

Chip maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc. says it will cut nearly 1,800 jobs, about 15 percent of its workforce, by the end of the year in order to reduce spending in the face of dwindling sales. AMD is the world's second-biggest maker of microprocessors for personal computers and PC sales are falling.

ASML Looks To Buy U.S. Light Beam Maker

October 17, 2012 11:00 am | News | Comments

ASML Holding NV, the biggest supplier of equipment to semiconductor manufacturers, has offered to buy Cymer Inc. of the U.S. for around $2.55 billion in cash and shares. Cymer's technology makes focused beams of light. ASML uses such beams in machines to trace out the circuits of computer chips.

element14 Drives Raspberry Pi Revolution By Doubling Memory

October 17, 2012 10:49 am | News | Comments

element14, the first collaborative community and electronics store for design engineers and electronics enthusiasts and a part of global electronics distributor Premier Farnell, today announced its continued partnership with Raspberry Pi with the launch of a new 512MB board version of the revolutionary, credit-card sized computer. Now with double the RAM, the new board is suited to multimedia, high-memory and mobile applications.

Do Androids Dream Of Handwriting Recognition?

October 15, 2012 1:35 pm | by Katia Shabanova, Paragon Software Group | Articles | Comments

Engineers and programmers have been trying for decades to teach computers and other electronics to recognize handwritten text. Only in the last few years have the world’s largest software companies made significant progress teaching smartphones and tablets to adequately recognize handwriting and translate it into typed text on the screen.

Renesas To Sell Assembly Unit

October 12, 2012 11:29 am | News | Comments

Financially troubled Japanese chipmaker Renesas Electronics Corp. said Friday it will sell its Aomori Prefecture-based semiconductor assembly unit Renesas High Components Inc. to electronic component maker Aoi Electronics Co. as part of its restructuring.

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Panasonic Stock Falls To 37-Year Low

October 11, 2012 8:23 am | News | Comments

Panasonic Corp.'s stock dropped to its lowest level in about 37 years at one point Thursday on selling triggered by the export-sapping appreciation of the yen and an overnight fall in U.S. shares. "The level of Panasonic's profitability isn't as high as before," a stock analyst said. "Uncertainty has grown over the company's earnings amid a worsening business environment."

Panel: China Tech Giants A Security Threat

October 8, 2012 12:20 am | by Matthew Pennington, Associated Press | News | Comments

American companies should avoid doing business with China's two leading technology firms because they pose a national security threat to the U.S., the House Intelligence Committee is warning in a report. Reflecting U.S. concern over cyber-attacks traced to China, the report also recommends that U.S. government computer systems not include any components from the two firms because that could pose an espionage risk.

Foxconn Denies Report Of Strike At iPhone Plant

October 6, 2012 4:06 am | by Didi Tang, Associated Press | News | Comments

Foxconn Technology Group said Saturday that production at its central Chinese factory that makes Apple's iPhones was continuing without interruption, denying a labor watch group's report that thousands of workers at the plant had gone on strike.

FBI: Workers Hid Scheme To Sell Electronics

October 5, 2012 4:36 pm | by Juan A. Lozano, Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. authorities have arrested Alexander Fishenko, owner of Arc Electronics Inc., and seven of his employees including Alexander Posobilov, who was the company's director of procurement, accusing them of being involved in a scheme to illicitly sell military technology to Russia.

Applied Materials To Cut Workforce Up To 9 Percent

October 4, 2012 1:28 pm | News | Comments

Applied Materials Inc., facing a sputtering economy and weak demand for its chip-making equipment, said it is cutting its workforce by up to 9 percent. The company said it is offering a voluntary retirement program and taking other actions that will reduce its headcount by 900 to 1,300 around the globe.

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Engineering Newswire 6: Get Lost with Apple's iPhone 5

October 4, 2012 9:16 am | by PD&D TV | Videos | Comments

In this episode of Engineering Newswire, brought to you by PD&D TV: The new iPhone 5 features a thinner, lighter design, with a taller screen, a faster processor, and updated software, everything you’d hope to expect from a new phone – except a suitable map app. Rethink Robotics has unleashed a revolution in manufacturing with the friendly faced, factory robot: Baxter.

Google Plans Wider Job Cuts At Motorola Unit

October 4, 2012 8:37 am | News | Comments

Google says it is expanding its plan to cut jobs from its Motorola Mobility unit outside the U.S. and will take $390 million in charges related to the layoffs. Google Inc. said in August that it would cut about 4,000 jobs at Motorola, three months after buying the cellphone maker.

UA Developing Chip Monitors That Dissolve

October 3, 2012 11:52 am | by David Wichner, Arizona Daily Star | News | Comments

Researchers including a top University of Arizona cardiologist have developed a new kind of biodegradable electronics robust enough for applications such as medical implants yet completely dissolvable in water or bodily fluids. The technology could have broad applications for medical implants, environmental monitors and consumer devices.

Lenovo To Bring 115 Jobs To NC

October 3, 2012 8:00 am | News | Comments

Electronics maker Lenovo will start making computers at its warehouse near Greensboro, N.C. The company announced Tuesday that it will hire 115 employees to help make the tablet, notebook and desktop computers at its Whitsett facility about 10 miles east of Greensboro.

How To Lose Your Job To A Robot

October 2, 2012 1:19 pm | by Chris Fox, Associate Editor, PD&D | Blogs | Comments

As our society progresses, robotics and algorithms are becoming more advanced at an exponential rate. This has been apparent for quite some time. So, are droids really taking our jobs? In a word, yes. Though, this brings about a much more political issue – job creation.

Samsung Motions To Add iPhone 5 To Patent Case

October 2, 2012 8:20 am | News | Comments

South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. says it has filed a motion with a U.S. court to add Apple's iPhone 5 to their ongoing patent battle. Samsung says it filed the motion Monday with the California court, alleging that Apple's new phone infringes on eight of its patents.

Sony Takes Stake In Olympus

September 28, 2012 7:57 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Sony is expanding its sprawling electronics to movies business empire with a new venture — looking inside the human body. The company said it will spend $640 million for an 11 percent stake in Olympus, an embattled maker of endoscopes, which are the long thin camera-equipped instruments that allow medical professionals to peer inside the body.

Intel Previews Tablets Powered By New Chip

September 27, 2012 6:53 pm | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Intel previewed a wave of tablet computers powered by a microprocessor that the company redesigned to make a bigger dent in the rapidly growing mobile market. All the devices depend on Intel Corp.'s new processor and Windows 8, a dramatic overhaul of the widely used operating system made by Microsoft Corp.

Isolate, Convert, Extend & Connect

September 26, 2012 7:58 am | by Brian Foster, Product Manager, Serial & USB Product Lines, B&B Electronics | Articles | Comments

As good as it is, USB was designed with safe office and IT environments in mind. When it moves into the real world, as it is currently doing in industries ranging from manufacturing to health care, USB reveals a number of inherent weaknesses.

Apple, Samsung Want Changes To $1B Verdict

September 24, 2012 8:10 am | by Paul Elias, Associated Press | News | Comments

Neither side in a bitter patent battle is satisfied with Apple Inc.'s $1 billion jury verdict over Samsung Electronics Co. after a three-week trial this summer. The two companies filed a blizzard of legal papers late Friday and early Saturday with their demands that a federal judge in San Jose significantly amend — or toss out altogether — the jury's Aug. 24 verdict.

Top Challenges In Electronics Manufacturing

September 21, 2012 1:16 pm | by Mike Roberts | Articles | Comments

The rate of change and advancement in the electronics industry can be startling, especially over the past few decades. The names at the top of the industry today were brand new companies just ten years ago. To survive, an electronics company needs to be as flexible as it is quick.

Sony Planning Slimmer PlayStation 3

September 19, 2012 8:09 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The new PlayStation 3, closer to the size of a laptop, is half the size of the original model, introduced in 2006. It also offers more hard-drive memory at 500 gigabytes and 250 gigabytes, up from the current 320 GB and 160 GB options. The global rollout starts Sept. 25 in North America, where the 250 GB version will sell for $269.

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