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September 23, 2016
Universal Stylus Initiative Releases Breakthrough Specification 1.0

The USI 1.0 Specification provides independent hardware vendors (IHVs) and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for the first time an industry standard, non-proprietary, active stylus protocol. This solution will enable the OEM, IHV and software ecosystem to develop a new generation of active styluses that provide consumers a consistent, customizable and interoperable experience across make, model and form-factor. The USI 1.0 Specification also enables new usages for active styluses, such as multiple styluses operating simultaneously on a single device. The USI Specification can be implemented on a wide range of touch-enabled devices, including phones, tablets, computing and entertainment platforms.

Approximately 259 million tablets will ship in 2016 according to Gartner, Inc. Most of those tablets will be active-stylus-capable and ship bundled with a stylus. Touch Display Research predicts that active-stylus market revenue will double from nearly $3 billion in 2016 to almost $6 billion over the next four years.

The development of USI 1.0 Specification was a collaboration among several companies including multinational OEMs (Dell Inc.; HP Inc.; Lenovo Group Ltd.), as well as silicon and component providers (Atmel/Microchip Corporation; Cirque Corporation; Hanvon Technology Co., Ltd.; Intel Corporation; Sharp Corporation; Synaptics Inc.; Wacom Co., Ltd.; Waltop International Corporation). Sharp Corporation, Hanvon Technology Co., Ltd and Waltop International Corporation recently demonstrated a working implementation of the USI 1.0 Specification. (Watch the video).

USI 1.0 Stylus and Device Specification

The USI 1.0 Specification defines a standard signaling mechanism and communication protocol between a stylus and a touch-enabled device. The 1.0 Specification features a robust two-way protocol designed from the ground up to support a rich set of base features including multiple, simultaneous styluses as well as extensibility for per-vendor customization and future usages.

Users will be able to use a single USI stylus across all of their USI-enabled devices and any USI stylus shipped with devices will work with other USI-enabled devices, even those from different manufacturers. Additionally, the USI 1.0 Specification also provides the capability to use multiple styluses from different manufacturers on a single device. This is a breakthrough capability and industry-first enabled by the USI 1.0 Specification.

An additional benefit of the USI standard is the ability to deliver a consistent stylus user experience across platforms. This consistency and ease-of-use, coupled with interoperability, increases the consumer appeal of an active stylus and will help proliferate the technology.

For more details, visit

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September 22, 2016
Sensors Expo Midwest 2016: Knowlege & Applications Are Tops

Have you ever come back from a tradeshow filled with a head and suitcase full of dazzling concepts, buzzwords, newly scripted acronyms, and a dizzy yet bright outlook for the future, only to wake up the next day wondering what you can do with all this new data? For example, you may have heard a keynote, attended a technical session, and visited a plethora of exhibitors that extolled the virtues of Li-Ion battery powered, IoT enabled crepes and how these digital delicacies will be the wave of the future. Deliriously delighted, you walk away with a barrel’s worth of ingredients, but no recipe, in essence, no viable applications.

Of course, most exhibitors at any type of show will have a product that they manufacture or a third party product designed using that the exhibitor’s parts. Nevertheless, more often than not, stimulation of the imagination to create a new application is not the highest priority. And maybe that’s not a prerequisite for a good show since not too many attendees complain about it. They just spend a bit too much time wondering about it.

Sensors Expo West

On the other hand, one of the things I found very impressive about Sensors Expo West in San Jose back in June was the overwhelming positive comments received from attendees on just about every aspect of the show. Two areas that standout are the keynote speakers, particularly Dr. Ken Gabriel, and the educational sessions.

Keynoter Dr. Ken Gabriel informed and inspired Sensors Expo West attendees.

One thing these areas had in common was a clear focus on what one can do with the information they presented: practical applications. Furthermore, from all the feedback received, each inspired imagination and creativity with the intent of going beyond present applications, moving forward, and in unique directions.

Some of the learn-and-apply offerings in San Jose included thought leadership oriented presentations and interactive demos in the Sensors Live and Embedded Theaters, a variety of technology pavilions for embedded systems, energy harvesting, IoT, Wireless, and MEMS offering hands-on and interactive demos, the NXP IoT truck delivering 170 demos, and numerous developer kit giveaways from companies like Exosite and Microchip. Further amplifying the focus on applications, the Startup Pavilion & Forum highlighted the latest, bleeding-edge sensor products and innovations from a stellar group of national and international startup companies.

NXP IoT truck on the open road.

All of these learning events offered numerous networking opportunities during and outside of exhibition hours. Chances to meet with peers, colleagues, and, importantly, competitors include networking breakfasts and lunches, the kickoff party, and the SensorsFest networking reception, to cite just a few. In terms of inspiration, the opportunities to exchange ideas and insights are near limitless and genuinely priceless.

Sensors Expo Midwest

Sensors Expo Midwest, though a physically smaller venue, promises to be equal in its fruits for those who wish to partake. The educational sessions will not only be targeting the latest trends and bleeding-edge technologies, but also will be addressing what is being done and inspiring attendees to go further and design products we’ll be raving about next year and beyond.

Like the flagship event in San Jose, we’ll embrace all of those technologies that are melding with the sensor community. We are moving to a completely connected world and just knowing about sensors will not be nearly enough to innovate and prosper.

Setting the wheels in motion, you definitely do not want to miss the opening keynote. At 8 AM, Tuesday morning, September 27, Daniel Kuhl, Vice President of Engineering Seagate Technology, will take center stage to pontificate on the big memory storage explosion and factors influencing global design and architecture, technology progression and infrastructure for manufacturing and validation.

Daniel Kuhl, Vice President of Engineering Seagate Technology, will discuss the never-ending challenges of data storage.

Data storage is a never-ending, most times uphill, battle. The data industry continues to be hard driven by capacity requirements, accelerating performance, and miniaturization. Mr. Kuhl will share current technologies, technology enablers of the future, and address the memory consumption rate of now and the future.

Interfacing sensors via embedded systems and data-acquisition systems will be big issues along with creating security strategies to keep both users and manufacturers safe on the IoT. The interaction of sensors, embedded systems, and software will provide fertile ground for security experts to ply their knowledge. You will learn effective security strategies from experts like Alan Grau, President and Co-Founder of Icon Labs, a leading provider of security software for IoT and embedded devices.  He is the architect of Icon Labs’ award winning Floodgate Firewall.

Alan Grau, President and Co-Founder of Icon Labs set to talk security issues at Sensors Midwest.

Also, you’ll be introduced to unique approaches to existing technologies. For example, David Shannon, Business Team Manager, Quick Coupling Division at Parker Hannifin will be exploring new ways to use EAP technology to design and develop high-strain sensors. Don’t know what EAP technology is? Well, there’s another reason to attend Sensors Expo Midwest and hear what Mr. Shannon has to say.

If audio and acoustics are your forte, Daniel Warren, Director of Research for the Acoustics Specialty Components division of Knowles, will be on hand to broach sensor-related topics. Daniel has been granted 14+ US patents in his field. An experienced technical communicator, he has authored and delivered over 50 talks at acoustical and audiological conferences worldwide, written an ANSI standard for directional hearing aid measurement, and chaired the Engineering Acoustics technical committee for the Acoustical Society of America.

One of the fastest growing area for sensors is flexible circuits and wearable electronics. The technological developments in this arena are coming in hot, heavy, and fast. You’ll be able get a bead on these technologies with pinpoint insights from expert in the field, Roger Grace. With the IoT and emerging biomedical applications, wearables and disposables have created demand for low-cost single or multiple sensors that are small, lightweight, and low power. They must also conform to the shape of their environment. Roger will discuss evolving “functional fabric” sensors and sensor-based systems, integration strategies and tradeoffs, and flexible circuit platforms and their associated interconnectivity issues.

Working hand-in-hand with the IoT and wearables, wireless technologies will be connecting sensors to interface systems both near and far. You’ll need to know what the latest methods, standards, and protocols are if you want your designs to be connected. Learn how the “Design Considerations for Scalable and Secure Wireless IoT Networks” presented by Paul Minton, President & CEO of California Eastern Labs. You’ll learn even more at the “Deploying Wireless Sensing Solutions – Lessons from the Wild, Industrial and Enterprise” session, given by Mike Fahrion, VP of IoT Technology at Advantech B+B SmartWorx.

The Top Of The Bottom Line

Rather than go on pointing out all of the advantages of attending Sensors Expo Midwest, as well as all future Sensors Expos, we’ll let the facts speak for themselves:

FACT #1: Sensors Expo & Conference has been named to Trade Show Executive's Fastest 50 for the past two years.

FACT #2: Sensors Expo & Conference is the largest and only show devoted specifically to sensors and sensor technologies.

FACT #3: Attendance at Sensors Expo & Conference is increasing year after. The venue has expanded significantly each year from 2014, moving from Rosemont, IL, to Long Beach, CA, to San Jose, CA, and now adding a second expo in the same year of 2016.

FACT #4: Pictures are worth a thousand words. Watch some video demos from Bscada and Coto and you will see the dedication to presenting leading edge applications of sensors and sensor systems.

FACT #5: If you want to be on top of your game in the world of sensors and all the emerging ‘big things’, you need to know what to do with those sensors, interfaces, embedded systems, and software. And the only way you can do that is to register for and attend Sensors Expo Midwest, September 27/28, 2016 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, IL.

FACT #6: Never forget FACT#5 and be sure to attend all future Sensor Expos.

Well, I sincerely hope to see you all next week at Sensors Expo Midwest. In parting, just let me SAY THIS…. ~MD

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September 19, 2016
Virtual Reality Eye Tracker First To Resolve Foveated Rendering Issues

China based 7invensun has launched what it is calling the world's first virtual reality (VR) eye-tracking module that can solve the technical problem of foveated rendering. The technology boasts three advantages: full field-of-view (FOV) tracking, high precision, and low latency.

Tracking range can reach the extremes of eye rotation, approximately 30° vertically and 50° horizontally. This covers mainstream VR devices with a FOV larger than 110°. Tracking precision is up to 0.5°, maximum tracking speed is 380 Hz, and latency is lower than 5ms.

The eye-tracking module also sports a novel hardware design with detachable modules, making them easy to carry and replace. This design also allows for replacement of near-sighted lenses. Every module is equipped with near-sighted lenses: one pair for 200°, 400°, and 600° each.

In terms of market acceptance, the company believes the main deterrent confronting VR hardware makers is that players' computer hardware is not able to meet the needs of display devices for high-resolution rendering. Additionally, VR equipment currently available can only function properly on computers that are priced at about $1,500 to $3,000).

In order to solve this problem, 7invensun is collaborating with companies such as NVIDIA and Qualcomm to develop foveated-rendering technology based on eye tracking. When we see a pure rendering scene, most of the computer work is wasted since our eyes can only accept details at the fixation point. Understanding the accurate field-of-view of users through eye-tracking technology, we only need to render the area with full resolution, to reduce the requirements for GPU.

For further information, contact Yang Fan via phone +86-186-0044-2145, or email Also, visit


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September 19, 2016
Sensor Detects Harmful Chemicals In Water

There does not seem to be anything truly unique about sensors that detect chemicals and other substances in water and other liquids. They have been around and in numerous varieties for quite some time. However, MyDx, Inc., makers of the first multi-use hand-held chemical analyzer for consumers, is launching its AquaDx sensor chip for the analysis of toxic chemicals in water. The company is and is now accepting pre-orders at special pricing for early adopters.

Apparently, the chip works with the company’s other analysis products. For example, the AquaDx Sensor works with the MyDx Analyzer multi-use hand-held chemical analyzer, OrganaDx for testing organic fruits and vegetables, and AeroDx, which tests air quality.

The MyDx Analyzer connects the AquaDx sensor by Bluetooth to a smart phone app (iOS and Android) that uploads and aggregates big data analytics and downloads a comprehensive report to the consumer within minutes. The AquaDx application will offer three unique one-time disposable sensors, for:

1. Pesticides and Heavy Metals (Set to US Military Standards)

2. Lead (Set to EPA Standards, Think Flint Michigan water health crisis)

3. Total Hardness, Total Chlorine, pH and Total Alkalinity (Many municipalities use chlorine to “purify” their water.

Alkalinity and pH of the body must stay within a narrow range to be healthy and accordingly, in recent years, the scientific community places increasing importance on the alkalinity of the food and water we consume. Other AquaDx features include real-time detection of toxic, tests for pesticides, heavy metals and other neurotoxin chemicals to the US Military Exposure Guideline (MEG) for Safety, and easy to use, pass/fail results within six minutes.

MyDx Early Adopters

For a limited time, the Company is running a special AquaDx pre-order promotion. New MyDx customers ordering the multi-use Analyzer and AquaDx Electronic Sensor Chip will receive a $100 discount, plus ten free single-use AquaDx sensors and free shipping and handling. Existing MyDx Analyzer owners will receive the AquaDx Electronic Sensor Chip plus ten free single-use AquaDx sensors and a free Multi-Use retrofit upgrade kit ($99 value) and free shipping and handling, for $69.95.  AquaDx delivery is scheduled for December 15. For more info about AquaDx and pre-order details, visit:

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September 16, 2016
New Tech Helps Pet Owners Detect Their Friends’ Pain

BURLINGTON, Mass. – September is Animal Pain Awareness Month and PetPace, the producer of a leading smart collar health monitor for dogs and cats, wants pet owners to know their options for identifying symptoms of pain, aging and illness. In 2015, the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management began recognizing September as Animal Pain Awareness Month. The campaign’s goal is to raise awareness, educate pet owners about acute and chronic pain symptoms, encourage recognition of animal pain and take action by seeking veterinary care.

Because it can be difficult for the average pet owner to notice subtle changes in a  pet’s behavior that indicate pain, technology like PetPace is becoming more heavily relied on to spot pain and medical complications.  PetPace was created by veterinarians and animal-lovers looking for a way to improve the health of pets, and to provide peace of mind to pet owners. The idea behind inventing a non-invasive, health monitoring smart collar was to quickly identify impending health concerns and monitor existing medical conditions.

The device allows pet owners to track vital signs like temperature, pulse, respiration, heart rate variability (HRV), activity, positions and calories. It will send alerts to the owner through a smartphone application if any of these parameters become abnormal. “More times than not, pet owners are unaware of illness and pain that their pet may be experiencing. If health issues aren’t identified quickly, it can not only affect their pet’s quality of life, but also limit treatment options,” said Dr. Ira Zaslow, a founding member of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care and founder of Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists. “Smart collar technology like PetPace gives pet owners and veterinary professionals a better tool to understand pet health.”

In addition to receiving smartphone alerts of impending medical emergencies, PetPace’s mobile application provides an in-depth look into nearly every metric of a pet’s health. Recorded data is displayed in an easy-to-understand graphic interface, which allows pet owners to monitor specific aspects of a pet’s health over time. This feature is especially useful for owners of older or sick pets. According to a recent survey, four out of five veterinarians recommend a health monitoring collar like PetPace for older or sick pets.

For details about the health monitoring, visit

For more information and a video about PetPace real-time pet health monitoring, visit

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September 15, 2016
IoT-Based Monitor Keeps Tabs On Power Management For DIYs

Solarable addresses the growing number of people who are creating their own power generation systems and their need to monitor and manage power usage as well as the affect weather has on their systems. Briefly described by its creators, "Solarable is the first IoT monitor that gives people the flexibility to monitor any solar or wind powered generator system and forecast an energy budget based on weather."

The module links to solar or wind-powered generators and monitors, tracks, and predicts the daily energy budget, accounting for weather and power consumption. Unlike other monitors, Solarable works with any inverter or batteries.

Via its on-board LCD and iOS and Android apps, the module displays:

  • solar panel or wind turbine current (amps), volts and power (watts)
  • battery volts and available power
  • electrical demand - current, volts, power
  • mobile notifications and alerts - system health, low solar/wind generation and high demand
  • battery lifetime cycles and lifetime cycle remaining
  • 72-hour solar budget prediction, based on weather forecast and usage history
  • a visual cue for the state of your solar or wind generator as the display-dial pulses different colors

Solarable is currently running on a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to go into full production in early 2017. Hoping to prove market potential, Rare Labs is looking to raise $12,500 to produce the initial shipments in early 2017.

CLICK HERE to watch a video demo. To view the Kickstarter campaign, CLICK HERE.

Rare Labs

Scottsdale, AZ



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September 14, 2016
Unique Technique Integrates Graphene Onto Silicon At Room Temperature

Materials researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a novel technique that allows them to integrate graphene, graphene oxide (GO) and reduced graphene oxide (rGO) onto silicon substrates at room temperature by using nanosecond pulsed laser annealing. The advance raises the possibility of creating new electronic devices, and the researchers are already planning to use the technique to create smart biomedical sensors.

Researchers start with a silicon substrate and top it with a layer of single-crystal titanium nitride, This is done using domain matching epitaxy to ensure the crystalline structure of the titanium nitride is aligned with the structure of the silicon. Next they place a layer of copper-carbon (Cu-2.0atomic percent C) alloy on top of the titanium nitride, again using domain matching epitaxy. Finally, they melt the surface of the alloy with nanosecond laser pulses, which pulls carbon to the surface.

If the process is done in a vacuum, the carbon forms on the surface as graphene, or if it is done in oxygen, it forms GO. If done in a humid atmosphere followed by a vacuum, it forms as rGO. In all three cases, the carbon’s crystalline structure is aligned with the underlying copper-carbon alloy.

Graphene is an excellent conductor, but it cannot be used as a semiconductor. However, rGO is a semiconductor material, which can be used to make electronic devices such as integrated smart sensors and optic-electronic devices. The paper, “Wafer Scale Integration of Reduced Graphene Oxide by Novel Laser Processing at Room Temperature in Air,” was published Sept. 9 in the Journal of Applied Physics. The study abstract follows:

“Wafer Scale Integration of Reduced Graphene Oxide by Novel Laser Processing at Room Temperature in Air” - Authors: Anagh Bhaumik and Jagdish Narayan, North Carolina State University

Physical properties of reduced graphene oxide (rGO) strongly depend on the ratio of sp2 to sp3 hybridized carbon atoms, the presence of different functional groups, and the characteristics of the substrates. This research for the very first time illustrates successful wafer scale integration of 2D rGO with Cu/TiN/Si employing pulsed laser deposition followed by laser annealing of carbon-doped copper layers. The XRD, SEM, and Raman spectroscopy measurements indicate the presence of large area rGO onto Si having Raman active vibrational modes: D, G and 2D. High resolution SEM depicts the morphology and formation of rGO from zone-refined carbon formed after nanosecond laser annealing. Temperature-dependent resistance data of rGO thin films follow Efros-Shklovoskii variable range hopping (ES-VRH) model in the low-temperature region and Arrhenius conduction in the high-temperature regime. The photoluminescence (PL) spectra also reveal a less intense and a broader blue fluorescence spectra, indicating the presence of miniature sized sp2 domains in the near vicinity of π electronic states which favor the VRH transport phenomena. This wafer scale integration of rGO with Si employing laser annealing technique will be useful for multifunctional integrated electronic devices and will open a new frontier for further extensive research in these functionalized 2D materials.

CLICK HERE for the full paper.

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September 13, 2016
Wearables Harvest Power From Body Heat

There’s no escaping the fact that wearable electronics is huge point of interest in the tech and consumer arenas. The popularity of wearable devices that do everything short of transporting a body up and away is undeniable and sales are brisk. Of course, all of those hot ticket items require some form of power in order to function.

Researchers at North Carolina (NC) State University have embraced that need for operating power with a design for harvesting body heat and converting it into electricity for use in wearable electronics. Experimental prototypes are described as being lightweight and they conform to wearers’ body shapes. An important claim, the prototypes can generate significantly more electricity than similar technologies that came before.

According to associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at NC State and corresponding author of a paper on the work Daryoosh Vashaee, “Wearable thermoelectric generators (TEGs) generate electricity by making use of the temperature differential between your body and the ambient air. Previous approaches either made use of heat sinks, which are heavy, stiff and bulky, or were able to generate only one microwatt or less of power per centimeter squared (mW/C2). Our technology generates up to 20 mW/C2 and doesn’t use a heat sink, making it lighter and much more comfortable.”

The NC State researcher’s design consists of a layer of thermally conductive material that rests on the skin and spreads heat out. The conductive material carries a polymer layer that prevents heat from dissipating into the atmosphere and forcing body heat to pass through a centrally-located TEG that is 1 cm2. Heat not converted to electricity passes through the TEG into an outer layer of thermally conductive material that rapidly dissipates it.

Making it light and easy to wear, the entire system measures 2-mm thick and is very flexible. The prototype contains a TEG measuring 1 cm2, but can be made larger depending on power needs, as per Vashaee.

A breakthrough of sorts, the researchers identified the optimal site on the body for heat harvesting. They report the upper arm as the optimal location for heat harvesting. While the skin temperature is higher around the wrist, the irregular contour of the wrist limited the surface area of contact between the TEG band and the skin. In turn, wearing the band on the chest limited air flow because the chest is normally covered by a shirt.

The researchers incorporated the TEG into T-shirts in which the TEGs were capable of generating 6 mW/cm2 during normal movement and as much as 16 mW/cm2 if the wearer is running. However, Vashaee says, “T-shirt TEGs are certainly viable for powering wearable technologies, but they’re just not as efficient as the upper arm bands.”

A paper title “Wearable thermoelectric generators for human body heat harvesting,” is published in the journal Applied Energy. Its authors are Melissa Hyland, Haywood Hunter, Jie Liu, Elena Veety, and Daryoosh Vashaee, North Carolina State University. The Abstract follows:

A thermoelectric generator (TEG) can be used to harvest electrical energy from human body heat for the purpose of powering wearable electronics. At the NSF Advanced Self-Powered Systems of Integrated Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST), TEGs are one of the enabling technologies being explored to advance the center’s mission of creating wearable, self-powered, health and environmental monitoring systems. As part of this effort, an exploration of the relevant parameters for maximizing the wearable TEG power output from the body heat and maintaining the body comfort is particularly important. For this purpose, the heat from the body must be directed into TEG with minimal loss, the generator must be designed for maintaining a high temperature differential across the thermoelectric material, and the generator must have a small form factor to maintain the body comfort. In order to address these requirements, an optimum TEG design was developed and experiments were conducted both on a temperature-controlled hot plate and on different body locations including the wrist, upper arm, and chest. The TEG was further fabricated into a T-shirt and the power was recorded for different human activities. Comparison of the experiments on various body locations and on the T-shirt yielded the highest to lowest power generated on the upper arm, wrist, chest and T-shirt, respectively. The prospect of powering a wearable electrocardiogram sensor by a TEG on the upper arm is discussed.

The entire paper is available for purchase for $14.95 at SCIENCE DIRECT. For more details on this developing technology, contact Daryoosh Vashaee via email at

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September 9, 2016
EU Backs Software Simplification Strategy

If only by sheer volume and the speed at which technology is traveling, electronic systems are becoming more complex than ever before. With the impending Internet of Things (IoT) applications that foresees trillion of sensors deployed across countless systems that will interface them to the web for everything from home and industrial automation to high-speed data collection and analysis, the complexity factor will continuously multiply.

One project addressing this issue of complexity is the SAVE project. Funded by the European Union, the project, which reached completion this first week of September 2016, offered a team of engineers and researchers the opportunity to explore how complex hardware systems can more efficiently execute data intensive applications. The results were innovations leading to the melding of hardware, software, and operating system (OS) components to reduce application deployment costs and maximize usage of heterogeneous system computing units.

One major achievement was an overall boost in energy efficiency, showing improvements up to about 20%. That is a significant start to keeping power-consumption in check when countless systems start to come on line. Current systems benefiting from this include computer data centers, consumer electronics, automotive products, and industrial electronics. Additionally, the SAVE prototypes promise to deliver performance and energy-efficiency gains in high-performance computing (HPC) and embedded heterogeneous systems.

Key SAVE achievements quoted include:

  • Platform behavior monitoring and task dispatching hardware and software: the first toolset closely tracks the performance and use rate of the various computing units available in the heterogeneous systems. The second toolset decides which computing units are best suited for the job.
  • Just-in-Time compilation technology: using SAVE technologies, at runtime, a single application-code representation is optimizable to the many possible hardware targets of the platform: CPUs, GPUs, accelerators, FPGAs.
  • Hardware and software virtualization technologies: these technologies efficiently expose the dedicated processing engines to the many virtual machines (VM) running on these systems. The teams successfully prototyped virtualized GPUs, virtualized FPGA-based data-flow engines (DFEs), and virtualized application-specific accelerators.

The innovations developed through the SAVE project are the results of research spanning three years by both academic and industrial collaborators. These include SAVE project coordinator Politecnico di Milano (Italy), ARM (UK), Maxeler Technologies (UK), STMicroelectronics (France), Technological Educational Institute of Crete (Greece), Paderborn University (Germany), and Virtual Open Systems (France). For further details on the SAVE project, CLICK HERE.



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September 8, 2016
Apple Says ‘Hit The Road Jack’

In the never-ending quest to make consumer’s lives ever easier, free from thought and calorie burning, Apple is eliminating the earbud cord and the jack it plugs into on its iPhone and Apple Watch. It has been a while in the coming and not unexpected as the goal of consumers seems to be living cord and cable free. They don’t seem to care how many devices they carry around with them, but heaven forbid they be connected old school.

Called AirPods, the wireless headphones reportedly use “advanced technology that reinvents how we listen to music, make phone calls, enjoy TV shows and movies, play games, and interact with Siri.” Users need only pop open the AirPods case, give a tap, and they are set up to work with an iPhone or Apple Watch.

Apple's AirPod wireless earbuds, a.k.a., earphones.

The earphones employ some unique sensors that can tell when one is listening or not and either automatically play music or pause sound. A double tap accesses Siri.

These miracles of ease-and-awe are achieved via Apple’s recently designed ultra-low power Apple W1 chip. The device is said to deliver high-quality audio and highly impressive battery life. AirPods provide up to five hours of listening time on a single charge. The charging case holds additional charges, for a total listening time greater than 24 hours.

The W1 chip operates with optical sensors and accelerometers that detect when the AirPods are in the user’s ears and start the music. Removing them from the ears automatically pauses the music, which resumes when the earphones are back in the listener’s ears.

Actually, wireless headphones are not that new. There are several examples dating back several years. Here are a few examples.

Panasonic AM/FM headphones

SONY wireless radio headphones

Sennheiser wireless headphones for television

Now, of course, these are not as cool as the AirPods. Even in their own time they caught on like liver-flavored ice cream. However, it goes to show that the concept is not very different.

AirPods including charging case will be available late October, priced at $159. Click HERE for more ease-and-awe. ~MD

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IIoT University

Deep Learning for Vision Using CNNs and Caffe: A Hands-on Tutorial – 9/22/16 – Cambridge, Mass


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