Thinner is better, or so say thin-film display manufacturers. For this reason, Toshiba Corp. (Tokyo, Japan) developed a reflective, low-temperature poly-silicon thin film transistor (TFT) liquid crystal display (LCD). Claiming an industry first, the company says its prototype offers low power consumption, increased mechanical reliability, and high resolution (800 x 600 pixels) in a thin, lightweight package. Targeted towards mobile applications, such as the emerging handheld PC market, the reflective TFT LCD reportedly consumes only 1/4 the power, weighs 1/2 less, and is 1/3 the thickness of a conventional amorphous-silicon backlit TFT LCD. Toshiba reports that shock and vibration characteristics are improved because the LCD driver circuitry is built into the periphery of the glass. Poly-silicon technology allows a smaller pixel pitch by patterning driver circuitry directly onto the glass to support high-resolution levels, alleviating many of the physical limitations imposed on LCDs requiring peripheral driver ICs. Toshiba plans to start mass production of a 8.4-inch reflective TFT LCD panel in the first quarter of 1999. Call: (800) 879-4963.
Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones used to fare quite well in the repairability department, but last year's flagship S5 model took a tumble, scoring a meh-inducing 5/10. Will the newly redesigned S6 lead us back into star-studded territory, or will we sink further into the depths of a repairability black hole?
In 2003, the world contained just over 500 million Internet-connected devices. By 2010, this figure had risen to 12.5 billion connected objects, almost six devices per individual with access to the Internet. Now, as we move into 2015, the number of connected 'things' is expected to reach 25 billion, ultimately edging toward 50 billion by the end of the decade.
NASA engineer Brian Trease studied abroad in Japan as a high school student and used to fold fast-food wrappers into cranes using origami techniques he learned in library books. Inspired by this, he began to imagine that origami could be applied to building spacecraft components, particularly solar panels that could one day send solar power from space to be used on earth.
Biomedical engineering is one of the fastest growing engineering fields; from medical devices and pharmaceuticals to more cutting-edge areas like tissue, genetic, and neural engineering, US biomedical engineers (BMEs) boast salaries nearly double the annual mean wage and have faster than average job growth.
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