Getting it together – in a technological way Apr 18 2016 Electroblog Print Article Apr 18 2016 Electroblog This week sees three technical collaborations that could provide the first automatic geo-referenced RF enabled map system, a DSP system-on-module innovation and a flexible haptic actuator for wearable devices. On the right track Mapping experts TRX Systems are working together with test and measurement specialists Anritsu to integrate Anritsu’s handheld analysers with a 3D indoor location and mapping which, say the companies, will create the industry’s first automatically geo-referenced RF signal mapping systems. Designated the MA8100A series TRX NEON Signal Mapper, the system employs a TRX NEON tracking unit to provide real-time 3D location information for indoor test and measurement applications. It can be configured with any Anritsu handheld instrument that features a spectrum analyzer and cuts the time needed for indoor signal testing. The companies believe this combination of technology will eliminate the need to manually perform “check-ins” at each test point by automatically calculating indoor location enabling greater volumes of data collection. An automatic indoor location and path feature removes conventional data recording errors caused by estimating locations in large buildings. It can also deliver actionable data in areas not easily analysed, such as stairways and elevators, by recording and referencing measurements in 3D. Low power DSP possibilities Solectrix and the Microsemi Corporation have got together to make available Solectrix’s SXoM-SF2 which the companies describe as a low power, secure and ultra-compact digital DSP system-on-module (SOM). It is based on Microsemi’s SmartFusion2 SoC FPGA devices. Size-wise the SOM measures 55 mm x 30 mm and can be used for motion capturing and analysis, medical and scientific imaging, security and surveillance, high-end machine vision, traffic monitoring and airborne imaging. It does all this by working as a modular system core for high performance DSP applications and uses a carrier board with a PCIe. Users can custom the SXoM-SF2 module for their own designs. The SmartFusion2 SoC FPGA has a flash-based FPGA fabric featuring 56K logic elements with an ARM-based hard processor system running at 166 MHz. Wearable haptic actuators The development of next generation Electro-Mechanical Polymer (EMP) film based haptic actuators for wearable devices is the ambition of a technical tie-up between the KEMET Corporation, a supplier of electronic components, and Novasentis a developer of haptic and sensory feedback technology. The EMP film actuators will act as a second skin for devices and will be capable of providing localised haptic and audio. The companies say that these actuators are a thinner, lighter and more powerful alternative to other whole-body haptic solutions using outdated motors or high-voltage benders. By Paul WhytockPaul Whytock is European Editor for Electropages. He has reported extensively on the electronics industry in Europe, the United States and the Far East for over twenty years. Prior to entering journalism he worked as a design engineer with Ford Motor Company at locations in England, Germany, Holland and Belgium.