The advanced calculations needed for these future applications are made possible by a microchip with relatively simple processors that can interact and communicate flexibly. These are among the findings of research at the Centre for Telematics and Information Technology of the University of Twente carried out by Marcel van de Burgwal, who obtained his PhD on 15 October.
Soon it will be possible to receive satellite signals not only with a satellite dish, but also using stationary antennae arrays made up of grids of simple, fixed, almost flat antennae that can fit on the roof of a car, for example. The antennae then no longer need to be carefully aimed: the grid of antennae forms a ‘virtual dish’.
That is a great advantage, especially for mobile applications such as satellite TV on the move. The aiming of the virtual dish is actually carried out by the entire grid. It is comparable with the LOFAR project, in which countless simple antennae laid out on the heathland of Drenthe in the north east Netherlands together form a huge dish for radiotelescopy. This too calls for large numbers of calculations and fast communications.
Computing power replaces analogue components
Conventional microprocessors are less suitable for these calculations, because they are highly overdimensioned and use large amounts of energy. The remedy is a combination of smaller, simple processors on a single microchip that can carry out tasks flexibly and be switched off when they are not needed. In this way a complete computer network can be constructed that takes up just a few square millimetres.
To achieve this, Van de Burgwal makes use of an efficient infrastructure based on a miniature network, where a TV or radio receiver is defined by software instead of the classic coils and crystals. “Software-defined radio may seem much more complex, but we can pack so much computing power into the space taken up by, for example, a coil that it more than repays the effort”, says Van de Burgwal.
The same type of microchip also turns out to be suitable for a completely different application: digital radio reception on a smartphone, where the main criterion is minimizing energy use. In his doctoral thesis Van de Burgwal shows that major gains can also be made here by using new methods of communication between the different processors. The multi-processor chip that he uses is based on the Montium processor – appropriately named after a chameleon – that was developed at the University of Twente. The processor is being further developed and marketed by the spinoff business Recore Systems.
Marcel van de Burgwal carried out his research in the Computer Architecture for Embedded Systems group, which forms a part of the Centre for Telematics and Information Technology at the University of Twente. His thesis, or a summary of it, is available in digital form.
Wiebe van der Veen | alfa
Supercomputing the emergence of material behavior
18.05.2018 | University of Texas at Austin, Texas Advanced Computing Center
Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss
18.05.2018 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
24.05.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
24.05.2018 | Medical Engineering
24.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy