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Electronics Manufacturing & Production Handbook 2017


From the editor's desk: More of the same, but hopefully better
31 January 2017, News

I don’t often say this at the start of a new year, but if 2017 carries on more or less where 2016 left off, it wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. Last year wasn’t perfect for the local electronics sector by any means, but there were signs of renewed optimism both in the official news being put out and also in the tones of private conversations being had.

In this first issue of 2017, we get off on the right foot with exciting news from across the electronic engineering spectrum. Firstly, our students are doing us proud by participating once again at the International Supercomputing Conference in Germany. Chosen from the Universities of the Western Cape and Stellenbosch, six students will compete in the International Student Cluster Competition, an event which South Africa has won three out of the four times of trying.

On the research front, too, we are making waves at the cutting edge, with Wits (University of the Witwatersrand) researchers having made a breakthrough in quantum electronics that could significantly further the development of carbon-based high-frequency devices.

At the level of industry, we are not far from seeing the wide-scale deployment of the Sigfox network in South Africa. Sigfox has already been deployed in 25 other countries, and is designed specifically for the Internet of Things (IoT) market, which is projected to be worth more than $2 billion locally by 2020. Unsurprisingly, the rollout will focus on the major metropolitan areas of Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban initially, but full national coverage is planned for 2018. Sticking with wireless communications, local company Poynting Antennas has scored an overseas design win, its antennas having been designed into a network of high-tech weather stations across Norway to assist the country’s air ambulance services.

It appears that major changes are on the horizon for Altron, with the news that the technology group has secured major funding, but may be one step closer to having its management wrested from the control of the Venter family. With all due respect to Dr Bill Venter and what his company has contributed to the South African technology sector over decades, it is probably about time the beleaguered company has a shake-up and look to rebuild under new management.

Whether for good or bad, manufacturing will continue to be a key topic in the local electronics sector. On this front, we have produced our third annual Electronics Manufacturing & Production (EMP) Handbook, which you will have received a copy of together with this, the year’s first issue of Dataweek.

On behalf of the whole Dataweek team, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our readers the very best for a memorable and productive 2017.

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Further reading:

  • How graphene is made
    31 January 2017, News
    This video from the Science Channel shows the amazing processes that must be performed to create the equally amazing material graphene, which is touted as the leading contender to supersede silicon as ...
  • Wits researchers make breakthrough in quantum electronics
    31 January 2017, This Week's Editor's Pick, News, Electronics Technology
    The group, headed by Professor Somnath Bhattacharyya, has been working for the past 10 years on developing carbon-based nanoelectronic devices.
  • SA student supercomputing team selected
    31 January 2017, News
    The team was selected from 10 teams from various universities in South Africa, who battled it out to demonstrate their cluster building and high-performance computing skills.
  • Huge investment in Altron, management shake-up on the cards
    31 January 2017, News
    The proposed investment will kickstart Altron’s stated intention to move from a family controlled and managed business to independent management.
  • Norway chooses South African antennas for rescue services
    31 January 2017, Poynting Antennas, News
    The result is access to unique weather patterns and live pictures in time for Norwegian air ambulance services to save lives.
  • FTDI spins out MCU, HMI divisions
    31 January 2017, Electrocomp, News
    In order to better serve the broadening range of markets it has developed products for, FTDI Chip has established a new distinct company, Bridgetek. Presenting the embedded engineering sector with a ...
  • EEMBC working on benchmarks for IoT
    31 January 2017, Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, News
    EEMBC, the Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium, is developing new benchmarks for the Internet of Things (IoT) industry. The first benchmark, intended to ensure optimum efficiency of security ...
  • Appcon Wireless appoints Otto Wireless Solutions
    31 January 2017, Otto Wireless, Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, News
    Appcon Wireless Technology, a global provider of wireless RF modules and radio data modems for ISM band at sub-GHz frequencies, has appointed Otto Wireless Solutions as its distributor sub Saharan Africa. ...
  • IoT to boost short-range wireless connectivity options
    31 January 2017, Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, News
    The market for short-range wireless connectivity – including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 802.15.4 and NFC – continues to evolve and expand its use cases in order to meet new IoT (Internet of Things) market requirements. ...
  • Former Atmel products added to Microchip’s online store
    31 January 2017, News
    Following Microchip Technology’s recent takeover of Atmel, all former Atmel products are now available on microchipDIRECT, Microchip’s full service channel. For the first time, customers can purchase ...
  • Local procurement must be prioritised by both public and private sectors
    EMP 2017 Electronics Manufacturing & Production Handbook, News
    To ensure that our economy is capable of producing affordable quality goods for local consumption and export, it is necessary to drive home the Local Procurement Accord.
  • Copper crisis looms for the PCB industry
    EMP 2017 Electronics Manufacturing & Production Handbook, Cirtech EDA, This Week's Editor's Pick, News, Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services
    A cold war over copper foil is being fought in China, with printed circuit board laminate producers losing out to electric vehicle battery manufacturers.

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