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VIA Announces Android Support for Embedded x86 Boards
VIA Technologies has announced Android support for VIA x86 embedded platforms, starting with support for the VIA EITX-3002 Em-ITX board. Running Android on an x86 platform offers increased flexibility, great multimedia support and cost saving advantages for embedded applications such as in-vehicle entertainment and interactive kiosks.
Key advantages for Android on x86 include leverage of Android development resources and existing apps, rich I/O flexibility, greater CPU performance as well as higher display resolutions of up to 1920 x 1080. In addition VIA has released SMART ETK, an Embedded Tool Kit that allows monitoring and control of peripheral devices through the Android OS, allowing for greater environmental control of kiosk and other installed environments.
“VIA has a long history of offering a wide range of options and customized solutions for our embedded customers,” said Epan Wu, head of the VIA Embedded Platform Division, VIA Technologies, Inc. “The addition of Android OS support to our embedded x86 boards adds increased flexibility and further broadens our ability to meet their needs.”
Mentor Graphics Acquires the Flowmaster Group for Computational Fluid Dynamics
Mentor Graphics Corporation has announced that it has acquired the Flowmaster Group, a supplier of 1D Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation software for system design. 1D CFD solutions allow for very rapid engineering design of complex fluid flow network systems like water-cooled electronic racks, automotive vehicle thermal management, and aerospace fuel systems. This acquisition consolidates the position of Mentor Graphics as the first EDA company to move into the adjacent Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) mechanical analysis space.
The Flowmaster Group is a Dutch-owned, UK-based organization that provides thermo-fluid systems simulation software to the aerospace, automotive, marine, oil and gas, power generation, process, rail and water industries. Flowmaster software is used by a wide range of engineering professionals to improve complex internal fluid systems from conceptual idea to finalized design. Flowmaster provides users with greater systems insight and foresight upfront of system development cycles significantly reducing the overall timescales involved. The acquisition of Flowmaster complements the acquisition of Flomerics Limited by Mentor Graphics in 2008, a leading player in the general purpose, 3D multi-CAD embedded CFD and 3D electronics cooling thermal analysis sectors, and broadens the Mentor Graphics portfolio in the CFD space.
Acer Unveils Plans for Cloud-Based Service to Connect Device Users
Acer’s “AcerCloud” design philosophy is to connect all of a user’s different form factor devices, regardless of manufacturer and operating system, in order to securely transfer digital media between those devices and to make that media accessible at any time. AcerCloud is interoperable with any devices that have a Windows or Android operating system, and adopts a distributed architecture for cloud data storage by using the consumer’s main personal computer as a repository for the files made accessible to their mobile devices through that user’s “personal cloud.”
AcerCloud is a service that at the time of launch will consist of three applications: ‘Clear.fi photo’, ‘Clear.fi media’ and ‘AcerCloud Docs’. ‘Clear.fi photo’ allows cross-device and cross-platform access to and management of photographs. While ‘Clear.fi media’ and ‘AcerCloud Docs’ perform the same task but for rich media such as music and for Microsoft Office documents (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) respectively.
Photos and media are indexed to the cloud by Acer, so that a user’s devices know which personal content exists as well as where to find it. But the content is not uploaded to the cloud, instead it remains hosted on its respective client device—with the exception of pictures taken by mobile devices, which are uploaded to and hosted in the cloud for 30 days. Documents meanwhile are all uploaded to the cloud by default regardless of file type, but are only hosted for a maximum of 30 days. AcerCloud will be free and will come bundled with all new Acer PCs, with software upgrade being made available to existing Acer PC owners.
Eurotech to Power Digital Whiteboard Application in University Campus
Eurotech has announced that they have received a contract from Energy International for a total estimated value of 1.7M USD to supply the Eurotech DynaVIS display computer as the processing platform for digital whiteboards. Eurotech signed a 12-month agreement to supply the hardware and infrastructure for college dorm room digital whiteboards in Qatar.
A new, state-of-the-art university in Qatar will use the digital whiteboards in dormitories to provide students with university announcements, schedule changes, video messages and other information. Timely display of such messages will keep students informed of happenings that affect them on a real-time basis.
“Energy International chose Eurotech for this digital whiteboard project because of our experience in delivering intelligent computing platforms for demanding applications and harsh environments,” said Greg Nicoloso, chief executive officer for Eurotech in North America. “We met their rigorous specifications for a college dorm digital whiteboard with in-wall mounting, and we worked with the engineering firm to design a fit for purpose fireproof enclosure behind the display for extra safety.”
Advanced Digital Logic Changes Company Name to ADL Embedded Solutions
Advanced Digital Logic has announced that is has changed its name to ADL Embedded Solutions Inc. The company says the name change is due to a significant expansion in their product lines, system design and integration service capabilities, including enclosures, cabling and thermal solution design and the value-added services to embedded customers. The new name seems to better reflect the broad range of products and services.
ADL Embedded Solutions will continue to operate in its current structure; contact email addresses and website will remain the same: www.adl-usa.com. The name change will also be extended to the company’s German Subsidiary, which will be named ADL Embedded Solutions GmbH, www.adl-europe.com.
“ADL Embedded Solutions continues to provide a broad spectrum of embedded products and services that range from standard and modified SBCs to full turn-key ruggedized, high-performance systems. Our new name helps to better convey this message to our customers,” said Peter Engels, president & CEO of ADL Embedded Solutions Inc.
Graphene Crystals Show Promise for Keeping Electronics Cool
A University of California, Riverside engineering professor and a team of researchers have made a breakthrough discovery with graphene, a material that could play a major role in keeping laptops and other electronic devices from overheating.
Alexander Balandin, a professor of electrical engineering at the UC Riverside Bourns College of Engineering, and researchers from the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Texas at Dallas and Xiamen University in China, have shown that the thermal properties of isotopically engineered graphene are far superior to those of graphene in its natural state.
The research efforts were led by Professor Rodney S. Ruoff of UT Austin and Balandin, a corresponding author for the paper, “Thermal conductivity of isotopically modified graphene.” It was published online January 8 by the journal Nature Materials, and will later appear in the print publication.
The results bring graphene—a single-atom thick carbon crystal with unique properties, including superior electrical and heat conductivity, mechanical strength and unique optical absorption—one step closer to being used as a thermal conductor for managing heat dissipation in everything from electronics to photovoltaic solar cells to radars.
“The important finding is the possibility of a strong enhancement of thermal conduction properties of isotopically pure graphene without substantial alteration of electrical, optical and other physical properties,” Balandin said. “Isotopically pure graphene can become an excellent choice for many practical applications provided that the cost of the material is kept under control.”
He added: “The experimental data on heat conduction in isotopically engineered graphene is also crucially important for developing an accurate theory of thermal conductivity in graphene and other two-dimensional crystals.”
Datalogic Acquires PPT Vision
Datalogic has completed the acquisition of PPT Vision, an American company that has been a pioneer in the Machine Vision market, with a global presence and revenues of approximately 6 million USD in fiscal 2011, ending October 31, 2011. The value of the transaction amounts to 5.2 million USD, entirely financed through existing internal resources. Datalogic, an Italian company in the market of bar code readers, data collection mobile computers, RFID and vision systems, made the acquisition through a U.S. subsidiary.
PPT Vision develops, manufactures and distributes products and solutions based on smart cameras and multi-camera vision systems for applications in quality control and inspection in most manufacturing industries. Mauro Sacchetto, Datalogic Group CEO, stated, “The acquisition of PPT is further confirmation of our strategy to supply our customers with complete solutions, reinforcing our positioning in the market of Industrial Automation and completing our offering of a high-end range of solutions and services in the new and innovative machine vision technology.”