EML Wildfire Tech PR Blog

Water soluble electronics: the solution to e-waste

Posted by Chris King on Oct 14, 2014

Electronics wasteThe semiconductor industry isn’t an especially ‘green’ business given all the nasty chemicals used in the fabrication process. But one of the industry’s biggest environmental challenges is electronics waste, given the meteoric rise in the use of electronics components in the last 20 years.

An estimated 50 million tons of electronics waste is produced each year from discarded mobile phones, computers, etc. and this figure could rise by as much as 500% over the next decade driven by growing electronics consumption in countries such as India.

Apparently only around 15-20% of this electronics waste is recycled, with the rest going directly into landfills and incinerators. Often finding its way to places like China, Malaysia, India, Kenya, and various African countries for processing.

So much so that the city of Guiyu in China has become something of an e-waste capital of the world. A huge electronic waste processing area employing over 150,000 e-waste workers that work through 16-hour days disassembling old computers and recapturing whatever metals and parts they can reuse or sell.…

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Crisis horizon: why efficient coding is crucial

Posted by Andrew Shephard on Oct 07, 2014

CodingThe semiconductor business is running out of ways to make things smaller, faster and lower power. The reasons are fairly unfathomable to most sensible people, but like so much in life it all boils down to cash.

Investments in manufacturing processes that are battling the laws of physics but will deliver no financial return for four or five years are simply not attractive.  And when I say investments we’re talking billions of dollars; it’s so much money that one company cannot possibly afford the investment alone, so much money that even governments cannot contribute enough support to make a real difference.

To be fair it’s not quite at crisis point yet but those in the industry will confirm that critical advances have certainly slowed, and whatever happens now we will see a dip in the performance/price line in the next two years.  The cost of raw digital performance, by which I mean making things operate faster or smaller or with less energy, will increase because of this dip.…

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#Bendygate: yesterday’s technology in tomorrow’s clothes?

Posted by Ella Delancey on Oct 06, 2014

BentIn the running for 2014’s biggest first world problem – the new iPhone bends if you stick it in your skinny jeans, which makes for a lot of very sad hipsters this week.

Due to the iPhone 6’s ‘dramatically thin and aluminium design’, the phone has been said to begin warping after being in the back pocket for some time. Computer Bild, Germany’s best-selling consumer technology magazine, posted a video demonstrating how easy bending the new smartphone is. This prompted an angry response from Cupertino with Computer Bild now supposedly banned from receiving future Apple products and attending events. I’ll come on to that.

Apple does seem to be the one company that bears the brunt of hyper-criticism when it launches new products, while it still enjoys a fair share of unconditional love from its many fan-boys and girls.

Either way, no other company is subjected to so much scrutiny. Within days the #bendygate was clogging up my Twitter feeds – a typically rational reaction to a handful of phones bending out of the 10 million sold in just three days!…

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Google’s Panda 4.1 update: move along, nothing to see here

Posted by Ian McKee on Oct 02, 2014

Traffic copI know, not the most gripping headline you’ll ever see, but it sums up my feelings about Google’s latest update.

Panda 4.1 as we’re calling it, is another, small, iterative algorithm update to flush out bad content, low quality sites, and those using spamming tactics involving the two to boost their search rankings.

That, really, is all you need to know. If you’re doing SEO the right way (which I’m sure you are), you probably didn’t need to know even that. Just like all of Google’s algorithms, this is about Google trying to serve better, more relevant content to its users.

A couple of months ago I wrote that the bare fundamentals of SEO are –

  1. Create good content that is relevant to your intended audience.
  2. Share it with your intended audience and influencers that they trust.

If you really want to know a bit more detail about what this latest update entails, read Econsultancy’s handy summary.…

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MoS2 is graphene on steroids

Posted by Chris King on Oct 01, 2014

GrapheneA lot has been happening in the world of graphene since my first blog on the topic in June last year that has given the electronics industry lots of good reason to remain super excited. This lovely infographic handily summarises just some of the latest potential applications and trials. In the medical space rubber bands have even been infused with graphene flakes and successfully used to measure pulse and breathing, and detect speech, when placed around the wrist, chest and neck respectively.

However, according to Electronics Weekly the University of Southampton’s Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) claims to have discovered a potential challenger to graphene.

Catchily named molybdenum di-sulphide (MoS2) the new material shares many of its properties, including extraordinary electronic conduction and mechanical strength, but it is made from a metal/sulphide material. According to the University this means that unlike graphene, MoS2 can also emit light allowing applications, such as photodetectors and light emitting devices, to be manufactured.…

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