The huge role of microcontrollers in new cars continues to grow. Volkswagen’s 2009 Golf platform will extend its networking capabilities, implementing a communications gateway with six CAN interfaces and at least two LIN interfaces for simple elements like windows and door locks. The gateway is based on a 16-bit microcontroller from Infineon Technologies, the XC2200. The gateway handles all of the internal interfaces, including the engine, entertainment systems, instrument clusters and body and convenience control units. The chips also open the door to external communication so future software updates can be installed by auto dealerships.
Producing high-quality end-production metal parts with additive manufacturing for applications like aerospace and medical requires very tightly controlled processes and materials. New standards and guidelines for machines and processes, materials, and printed parts are underway from bodies such as ASTM International.
Engineers at the University of San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering have designed biobatteries on commercial tattoo paper, with an anode and cathode screen-printed on and modified to harvest energy from lactate in a person’s sweat.
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