What Year is This? The DeLorean is Back in Production!

Great Scott! It’s like something out of Back to the Future today, as the iconic car, made famous by the now legendary time travel movie is back in production!

Thanks to a recent change in the federal law, the facility in Humble, Texas, is now allowed to start making the car again, for what will be the first production of the car in thirty years. The DeLorean was first made famous all the way back in 1985, but it seems the movie fame just wasn’t enough to sell the already failing and somewhat ahead of its time (no pun intended) vehicle. This was further ruined after the founder, John DeLorean, who was arrested on drug charges, and the company went bankrupt shortly afterward.

The cars are iconic, a much-prized collectors item, especially so if they’re modded to look like time machines, flux capacitors and all. How successful the return will be still remains to be seen, or how the car will come back. Will it be improved, or will they keep that iconic if somewhat rubbish specification in its original format? The company is said to use the original authentic parts that have been stored away for many years, but how they use them is what could be interesting.

“It’s fantastic! It is a game changer for us. We’ve been wanting this to happen,” said Stephen Wynne, CEO of DeLorean Motors.

Want to get one ordered? There will be around 300 cars put into production, with the rollout starting at one per month and slowly moving to one per week. With a referb currently costing around $50,000 and a new one $100,000, not a lot of people will be opening their wallets, but the prospect of seeing more of these cars on the road again is one that’s just too fun not to think about.

Would you put in an order for one of the new DeLoreans? If you had the money for it of course!

Bank of China Releases a Laser Blasted “Monkey” Coin

Tech is always advancing in new and exciting ways. With the aim of developing and modernizing techniques for the 21st century, the coin production process at The People’s Bank of China placed into circulation a $10 dollar limited edition of at least 500 million coins, but when you consider China has a current estimated population of at least 1.357 billion, this may well be a limited laser blasted and multilevel “Monkey zodiac coin”.

The coins in question use materials including a Brass Alloy for the outer ring, which is illustrated by the first image below, this is coupled with a Nickel Alloy composite which is implemented for the inner core and is conveyed by the second image. The technique used to make these commemorative coins changes the traditional moulding process in favour of a lower yet more efficient manufacturing footprint.

The coins have the word “SHIYUAN” which is located next to the selected domination, this word comes from the  Chinese phonetic alphabet. The coins, released to coincide with the 2016 Lunar New Year are also decorated to include a floral pattern as well as a traditional decorative monkey and also a lantern.

Collectors who wish to collect such a coin will be able to reserve a maximum of five coins, the date by which the coins will become available will be from the 16th January 2016.

Asetek Factory Video Shows How a Closed Loop Liquid Cooler is Made

Asetek is the industry’s leader in closed-loop cooling solutions and manufacturers the majority of these products for major companies including Corsair. Arguably, they created the idea for a simple all-in-one unit and threatened legal action against any similar devices which infringed on their patents. As a result, Asetek is the dominant force in sealed water cooling and looks set to have a monopoly in this market. Despite the legal wrangling, it’s always fascinating to see how any product is made especially on such a vast scale.

Recently, Asetek released a video showing the workforce and steps needed to create the Corsair H75 cooler. It’s certainly worth a watch and provides a great insight into their production line. Compared to other traditional air coolers, it’s vital to eliminate any potential problems during the manufacturing process as any leaks will have disastrous consequences. Thankfully, the failure rates on Asetek units are extremely low and very reliable.

That being said, I’d like to see other companies have the freedom to invent new designs and innovate in this sector. Asetek’s attempts so far to control the market have been successful and the lack of competition is never a good thing for consumers.

BBC Strictly Come Dancing Transformed into 360 Degree Video Wonder

Ok, I will be the first to admit that I do not sit down in front of a TV or computer on a Saturday evening to view BBC 1’s hugely popular show Strictly Come Dancing. I know people who do, I am just not one of them, but, when you place the technical filming innovation that is 360-degree video with the intention of creating something unique, well, even I want to know more.

The video below looks like a fairly standard YouTube flash video, I mean HTML 5 clip, but while playing the video, you now have the option of viewing the clip in a full 360 degrees. To do this simply hold the left click while moving the mouse or trackpad within the video, you will now experience a whole new immersive and interactive viewing experience.

Quick tip, if the video seems a lower definition than normal, don’t worry, eTeknix has not suddenly leapt back to the 90s, the video quality menu is located in the normal position which is within the black bar that incorporates the volume icon etc, for some reason the icon does not clearly show up when embedding; this video goes up to 1080p.

This project was a collaborative effort that incorporated the technical skills of Rewind, BBC Technology and the Strictly production team.  The clip is choreographed to include the shows regular dancers who are dancing to a classical version of music star Rihanna’s hit “Only Girl In The World”

This project certainly pushes both the boundaries and also opens up a world of possibilities for future broadcasts which could, in theory, utilize the 360-degree technique. Hopefully, the BBC will remain a vibrant source of creative output which will in turn offer audiences greater interactivity with programmes in the future. Technology accomplishments such as this open the door for an exciting future where 360-degree online streaming could revolutionize TV habits.

 

AMD R9 Fury X Production Could Be Halted by Cooler Master Lawsuit

The AMD Radeon R9 Fury X could be facing a complicated production issue due to a legal battle surrounding the Cooler Master closed-loop pump. Back in 2014, Asetek, the manufacturer of many all-in-one liquid coolers such as the Corsair H110, won a patient infringement case against Cooler Master. The final verdict awarded Asetek a 14.5% royalty share on all Cooler Master liquid coolers sold throughout the USA. In total this includes the Seidon 120V, 120V Plus, 120M, 120XL, Nepton 140XL, Seidon 240M, Glacer 240L and Nepton 280L.

Cooler Master’s entire range of liquid cooled products are bound by the royalty fee and cannot be sold in the USA due to an injunction. As a result, it’s theoretically possible that the Fury X pump could become a major issue given its Cooler Master branding and manufacturing deal. CoolIT recently settled a lawsuit with Asetek after manufacturing Corsair’s latest H110 GT liquid cooler. In 2013, Swiftech had to halt production of the H220 and H320 all-in-one coolers due to the Asetek lawsuit and produced the revised H220-X and H240-X designs which didn’t infringe on the patent.

This patent war has been an arduous process and other companies selling closed-liquid-coolers could face similar legal wranglings in the future. Yesterday, Cooler Master’s fate was sealed as their appeal was dismissed and increased the royalty rate to 25.375% on infringing products from January 2015. It’s unknown how this will affect the Fury X’s market position in the USA, but the news is rather worrying.

Thank you GamersNexus for providing us with this information.

A Clearer Picture For Utilizing Transparent Glass Within a 3D Printer

I recently wrote an article concerning a new technique of using a 3D printer to build up layers upon layers with pre-existing materials to create “glass” based objects. The accompanied video looked stunning and the potential applications seemed endless, well now, a team of MIT researchers have opened up a new frontier within 3-D printing which has expanded on the premise with new details concerning the ability to print optically transparent glass objects.

The ability to print glass objects is extremely complex and has been attempted by other research groups, the problem lies with the extremely high temperature which is required in order to melt the material. Quite a few development teams have used tiny particles of glass which is melded together at a lower temperature in a technique called sintering. Unfortunately, this technique has rendered such objects to be structurally weak and optically cloudy, thus eliminating two of glass’s most desirable attributes: strength and transparency.

MIT have therefore developed its own process which retains those properties and produces printed glass objects which are both strong and fully transparent to light. The device which is used to print such objects utilizes a computer assisted program which is similar to the standard design operating mechanisms implemented by current 3D printers. The result is a machine which can print objects with little human interaction or indeed intervention; it’s stunning to imagine an autonomous production line in your living room.

In the present incarnation, molten glass is loaded into a hopper within the top of the device after being gathered from a conventional glass blowing kiln. When completed, the finished piece must be cut away from the moving platform on which it is assembled; the temperatures are the same of 1900 degrees Fahrenheit which is approx 1037 degrees Celsius.

The potential uses for such a technique is mind-blowing, Neri Oxman, an associate professor at the MIT Media Lab envisions a future whereby it would be possible to “consider the integration of structural and environmental building performance within a single integrated skin.” This notion could completely transform the manufacturing process.

A further expansion on this technique would be to add pressure to the system which is either through a mechanical plunger or compressed gas, by doing so it is hoped to produce a more uniform flow and thus a more uniform width to the extruded filament of glass.

There is a potential downside to such a revolutionary direction, if you could inhabit a world where houses are printed on an industrial scale and goods are quickly printed, this would ultimately reduce the number of workers needed within production. AI and new techniques are slowly making people redundant within an ever-expanding population, a quote below emphases this further

“Boston Consulting Group predicts that by 2025, up to a quarter of jobs will be replaced by either smart software or robots, while a study from Oxford University has suggested that 35% of existing UK jobs is at risk of automation in the next 20 years”.

What future will be printed for us humans?

Thank you mit and bbc for providing us with this information.

Production Image of the Upcoming Mass Effect Title Revealed

Ken Thain, Bioware’s Cinematic Director, has tweeted a production image of the upcoming Mass Effect title. The tweet states that the team is getting their “motions on at TheCaptureLab in Vancouver. A very cool scene for the next #MassEffect.”

The image shows two actors in motion capture suits getting the animations ready for the game. An image of the game can be seen, though faintly, on the left side of the image. Though the image is not so great and does not reveal a whole lot about the title, it does seem to be a start for Bioware revealing some more content and information about the next Mass Effect.

Bioware’s latest Mass Effect title should be revealed at E3 in June, where the developer is expected to reveal some gameplay footage. Until then, producer Michael Gamble states in his tweet that the title is reaching another milestone soon.

“The ‘Mass Effect’ team is finishing another milestone soon? It’s almost like we are building a real game or something.”

While Gamble seems pleased with the end of the milestone, it still does not reveal what the milestone is exactly. Also, the producer has requested that a race selection should be added for the next iteration in the Mass Effect saga, since its universe was created to be so vast and features a variety of races.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7mX2_163cg

Thank you WCCF for providing us with this information

Foxconn to Replace More Humans With Robots

Foxconn, which is Apple’s primary supplier for components, expects to deploy more robots in their factories to help with production in the next three years. While human workers are the main resource in their factories today, the company expects to automatize 70% of its assembly line work.

The Taiwanese manufacturing plant currently employs 1 million workers in China. However, company CEO Terry Gou said that he has been investing in robotics research and hopes to one day deploy a “robot army” at the company’s factories to offset labour costs and improve manufacturing.

“I think in the future, young people won’t do this kind of work, and won’t enter the factories,” said Gou.

A while back, Foxconn has faced criticism regarding working conditions, long hours and harsh treatment from its employees and both Foxconn and Apple have promised to improve the labour conditions. The resulting outcome proves to be a good quality and production improvement, but the cost of achieving it would most likely displease Foxconn’s employees even more.

Despite the increase in automation, certain Foxconn facilities in China still heavily rely on human workers. The factory in Zhengzhou, China, assembling Apple’s iPhone for instance, has been known to employ 300,000 workers.

Thank you Computer World for providing us with this information

Apple to Produce Cars by 2020

Bloomberg, a trusted source for Apple rumours, says that the company is to be producing cars by the year 2020. They say that they company will have vehicles rolling off the production line “as early as 2020”, suggesting that the date could be later, or never, as is the case for many Apple projects that never see the light of day.

However, while that is certainly the case for many Apple products, the car project seems to be a serious one. After credible reports from The Wall Street Journal and Reuters, all but confirming the car project, it certainly seems that Apple is aiming for a slice of Tesla’s pie.

9to5Mac yesterday published an extensive list of employees which Apple has hired to work on the project, with a number of Tesla employees, as well as many senior automotive experts from giants including Ford. That along with those sightings of an Apple-registered car whizzing around the streets of Palo Alto with a load of equipment on the roof, make this rumour seem closer to fact than fiction.

Source: Bloomberg

Steve Jobs Movie Begins Production

CNET shot the image above which appears to show the beginnings of production on the Steve Jobs biopic. The movie has already been subject to many twists and turns. Many big-name actors opted in and opted out of the starring role, while Sony Pictures dropped the movie and handed it to Universal. It’s also worth mentioning how it got caught up the massive Sony Pictures hack too.

Now things finally seem to be on track, with filming activity taking place at Jobs’ parents’ garage where the company was founded. The garage is famous in the story of Apple, as it’s where the first Apple I computers were manufactured by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and their first employees, including Chris Espinosa, Apple employee number 8 who is still working at the company today.

Besides that however, there’s little in the way of new information about the movie. We do now know that it will feature Michael Fassbender as Jobs, with Seth Rogan as Steve Wozniak. There’s also word that Dumb and Dumber‘s Jeff Daniels will star as John Sculley; the guy who effectively fired Jobs from his own company in 1985.

Source and Image: CNET Via: 9to5Mac

Rumoured Ultra-Slim MacBook Air to Enter Production in Early 2015

A new rumour from Digitimes suggests that alongside the Apple Watch, Apple’s latest upgrade to the MacBook Air is due to enter production in early 2015.

The report says that component production is well underway, with the intention of the product entering production in the next few months. The notebook is to be produced by Quanta Computer and will feature Intel’s Broadwell processors. Those processors are supposedly key to its design too – the new machine will apparently be even thinner than the current MacBook Air and will go without a fan as part of its fan-less cooling system.

The laptop is projected to be released in mid-2015, with limited supply at first due to yield issues. Apparently it will come in Space Grey, Silver and Gold, making them the first MacBooks with alternative colour options in years. The MacBook Air has been an incredibly popular product for Apple, becoming their most successful computer. Its design spawned Intel’s Ultrabook initiative, leading to a number of Windows-based notebooks following the same ultra-thin, SSD-based design.

Source: Digitimes Via: MacRumors

Apple’s iPod Classic is No More

But wait, there’s more! As we’re all busy “running around like a headless chicken” over Apples announced release of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 plus, iWatch and Apple Pay – a very special and original Apple innovation has slipped into the shadows.

When searching for a MP3 player for myself in 2010, I had the tough task of finding an alternative that meant I could store copious amounts of data wrapped up into a suitable interface. Now, I’m no Apple fanboy (currently Galaxy S4 user), but the iPod Classic was the only thing I could find at the time to suit my needs. Unfortunately, the old 256mb pen drive sticks of yesteryear would no longer ‘cut the mustard’.

Fast-forward to September 2014 and take a second to look at Apples iPod section, and can you see what’s missing? No official statement has been seen from Apple about this as of yet, but it seems that they are just planning to kill the iPod classic off silently without causing a stir. This marks the end of an era, gone but not forgotten.

So that now begs the question, if you’re still looking for a dedicated MP3 player with large scale capacity and a screen to boot, what are your options. Or is the age of the MP3 player dead as phones now reign supreme?

Cover image courtesy of Apple

Apple Bans Two Chemicals Used in Overseas Factories

Apple have many overseas factories, that’s for sure, 22 to be exact! Some of the factories have been using very harsh chemicals during production of Apple products, the chemicals in question are benzene and n-hexane, extremely harsh chemicals that have links to leukemia and potential nerve damage! China Labor Watch and Green America are activist groups that look into this kind of thing to guarantee the staff are working in safe environments and spotted that these chemicals where being used and caused a scene.

18 of Apples factories were not using the chemical at any stage in production, however, 4 were and it’s in these 4 that the new ban has come into place. The factories were reportedly using the chemical solutions within safe limits but Apple has decided to ban them nonetheless. Apple was called out in the past when a factory used N-hexane, which evaporates faster than alcohol, reportedly led to 137 employees being hospitalized. I guess they don’t want a repeat of that episode which is why such swift action has been taken this time. 

This is doing everything we can think of to do to crack down on chemical exposures and to be responsive to concerns,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple VP of environmental initiatives, in a statement to the AP. “We think it’s really important that we show some leadership and really look toward the future by trying to use greener chemicals.”

It’s nice to see a huge company such as Apple actually seem to care about their staff and make a change for the better, for their sake at least. Good job Apple, you have our respect, for now.

Thanks to Tweaktown for supplying us with this information.

Image courtesy of Tweaktown.

The Pirate Bay Rolls Out New Mobile Website

Piracy has always been a serious issues for law enforcement agencies, governments and multimedia corporations. There have been numerous attempts aimed at stopping piracy throughout the years, but all failed. Looking at The Pirate Bay for example, it even had an increase in traffic recently, despite all the crack-down attempts so far. The latest news however further tells us that the popular torrent website isn’t going to fade away anytime soon too.

The team over at The Pirate Bay is said to have made a mobile version of its website, extending the reach of its piracy content to the mobile sphere. The previous website which users were taken to when accessed on a mobile device is said to have been basically a shrunken version of the desktop version. It was not very responsive and usable from a mobile device, as Ubergizmo states, but that is bound to change.

“The normal version of the site renders like crap on mobile devices. We will add more features later on, such as personal RSS feeds so users can browse torrents at work or school, and start the downloads at home.” The Pirate Bay team states.

The new version is said to be more mobile-friendly, as per the picture above detailing the mobile version in comparison to the old shrunken-down version, and aims to deliver its website’s content on-the-go to users who do not have a desktop or laptop in front of them. This however will not be good news for record labels, publishers and movie studios, who might think that the new ‘optimization’ would further increase piracy activities.

Thank you Ubergizmo for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Ubergizmo

Samsung Uncovers Labor Violations at Dozens of Chinese Supplier Factories


Electronics manufacturer Samsung conducted an external audit that found employee rights violations at dozens of suppliers located in China, though none of the charges related to child labor.

The company has more than 200 suppliers in China, and found that a “majority of suppliers do not comply with China’s legally permitted overtime hours,” with Samsung requesting that the companies cut back on overtime.  Samsung hopes to see illegal overtime practices end by the end of this year.

Of note, the report found 33 suppliers violated local insurance regulations, while 39 suppliers paid fixed wages and no overtime to employees.

As Samsung rose to the top of the electronics world, powered by successful smartphones and tablets, the company has received higher scrutiny from watchdog groups.

In South Korea, the company was criticized when a hardware factory used chemicals that led to leukemia and fatalities of some workers. A 2012 report from the China Labor Watch group found working conditions were considered “inhumane,” including the use of child labor to meet supply demands.

Manufacturers find success using China’s large work force to assemble electronics – but must deal with labor issues, which ranges from child labor and excessive overtime to employee suicides.

Thank you to The Guardian for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of AP

Apple Might be Facing Problems with New Tech for the iPhone 6

It appears that even giant companies such as Apple are facing problems this year, having been rumoured that the iPhone manufacturer is currently facing some problems with key components for the upcoming iPhone 6.

The good news in all of this is that the latest iPhone 6 is said to break away from its yearly refreshed mainstream design and move towards something more ‘uncommon’ for the company. This is why there are rumours circulating that the plastic inserts above the antennas will be replaced by glass pieces, giving its general outlook a more appealing look and feel.

The bad news however comes from China, where Apple is apparently facing problems with the new iPhone 6 display. The new technology required to make the displays is reportedly giving quite a few headaches production-wise. China Times has stated that Apple is attempting to use new display technology in order to make its next generation of iPhones thinner.

This is nothing new for companies attempting to move towards newer and more sophisticated tech, though it requires meticulous steps to get the new tech to work properly. Apple is reportedly ditching the two-layers found in the ‘brightness enhancement films’ (BEFs) and moving to a one-layer design in order to achieve the required thinness. This might be why Apple’s suppliers are apparently facing problems, having to work out the final touches for the display in question.

Looking back at previous releases, Apple’s manufacturers were reportedly facing similar production problems before every major release, having the company and its suppliers eventually succeeding in releasing the final product before the deadline. The same thing might be happening now, though the outcome is unknown until the final product gets released.

Apple is said to launch its latest (rumoured 4.7-inch display) iPhone 6 model this year, having the launch date previously leaked as being set for September the 19th.

Thank you BGR for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Business Insider

New Manufacturing Technique Could Speed Up Graphene Production

Graphene has been in the hands of researchers for ten years now, a super material that has displayed many interesting properties and applications. The only trouble with the material is that it has proven very tricky to produce on a large scale, but new innovations from MIT have found a workaround for one of the trickiest aspects of its production.

“To make it useful, you have to get it off the metal and onto a substrate, such as a silicon wafer or a polymer sheet, or something larger like a sheet of glass, but the process of transferring it has become much more frustrating than the process of growing the graphene itself, and can damage and contaminate the graphene.” said MIT team lead A. John Hart in a recent release.

Their technique involves making a kind of metal sandwich, growing the graphene on both sides of a sheet of nickel instead of the old technique that only used one side. When the sheet is laid over glass and the top layer of graphene and nickel are peeled away, a perfect layer of graphene was left on the glass. This means the glass and graphene combo is now ready to be directly integrated into a TV or mobile devices’ screen.

The new process isn’t limited to glass and can also be used on solar cells, silicon wafers and more, but the team is now going to focus their efforts on improving the attributes needed to produce a high-performance graphene coating.

Graphene innovations are everywhere these days, but until these manufacturing hurdles are overcome, we’ll have to wait for any new innovative products which we can actually go and buy.

Thank you Gigaom for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Gigaom.

Western Digital Announces Surveillance-Class Production Line, the WD Purple

Western Digital has announced a new hard disk production line, the WD Purple, a 3.5-inch HDD specially designed for surveillance applications. The new production line is said to be targeting homes and small business environments having up to eight hard drives and up to 32 high-definition video cameras.

“By expanding our ‘Power of Choice’ product portfolio with WD Purple, we make it simple for our VARs, integrators and consumers to select the right drive engineered for their application and validated with our industry leading surveillance partners,” said Matt Rutledge, senior vice president and general manager of WD’s Storage Technology group. “WD optimised the WD Purple line of hard drives for surveillance applications to improve high-definition video playback, and operate in 24×7 workloads of surveillance environments.”

The WD Purple lineup is made up of four hard drives, spanning from storage spaces of 1 TB all the way up to 4 TB. The lineup is also equipped with a couple of WD technologies, one being AllFrame which helps reduce video footage loss with a propriety cache policy management technology when combined with ATA, and the other being Advanced Format Technology which is a more efficient media format that enables increased areal density.

The WD Purple production line hard drives is available for purchase with a three-year warranty , having the 1 TB hard drive sold at a price of £54.99 / $92, the 2 TB model coming in at £74.99 / $125, while the 3 TB is available for £99.99 / $167 and the 4 TB at £139.99 / $234.

Thank you Western Digital for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of Western Digital

San Francisco’s 2K Studio Reportedly Working On A Mafia 3 Game From Scratch

Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven was one of the games that revolutionised the gaming industry back in September 2002 when it first got launched. It emerged you in a unique experience of the Mafia world in the ’30 era, full of thrilling chase episodes, interesting plot and exceptional mix of characters. It also introduced a few environmental features, such as speed limit and the ability for cops to properly cope with law offences.

Then in 2010, eight years later, the second part was released, packed with newer graphics and physics engines, having the same expected outcome as the first. It even had the mission which linked the two games, namely the mission to kill Thomas Angelo, the first Mafia’s main character.

We now hear that there is a Mafia 3 in the works, but it however will not be developed by 2K Czech as Mafia II. There are rumors that even a few members from 2K Marin have followed Rod Fergusson, the head of 2K Studio over in San Francisco, to the new studio as well as others from 2K Czech. The reports state that 2K San Francisco will start from scratch on the new Mafia 3 project. They have no intention of using what the Czech studio developed for Mafia 2.

Regarding the fate of 2K Czech, nobody knows for sure. There had been some layoffs back in 2011 as Fudzilla reports and the exact number of people still in the Czech HQ is not known. They say that the layoffs were due to the studio not being able to deliver another Mafia 3 project before its deadline. However, concrete information has been released on the Mafia 3 attempt, neither on the actual rumor of the Mafia 3 development in San Francisco.

Thank you Fudzilla for providing us with this information

Mass Production Of Carbon Nanotube Made Possible Thanks To Japanese Researchers

First of all, carbon nanotubes, or CNTs, are allotropes of carbon with a cylindrical nanostructure. Short version of the story, they are favorable materials in nanotechnology, electronics and optics for their unusual and extraordinary properties in terms of thermal conductivity, mechanical and electrical properties. You can read more about them here. The problem is that it’s hard to make them, and therefore mass production is impossible. Or at least it was.

AIST reportedly developed a way to properly manufacture single-wall, or monolayer, carbon nanotubes in quantities that are considered favorable for the eventual mass production. They have used a method called enhanced Direct Injection Pyrolytic Synthesis, or eDIPS, which aims to be a modified production phase based on the chemical vapor deposition used in the semiconductor industry to make thin film products and components. Meijo Nano Carbon Co. Ltd. provided the necessary industrial foundation for this system, and has moved forward to the development of a prototype production plant that demonstrates their method’s improved production rate and efficiency.

The report states that they were able to produce monolayers 100 times faster and with a quality rate of 10 to 20 times higher than before. This might not be so interesting for some of you, but let’s take a more practical approach on this matter. For example, Zyvex Technologies has built a 54-inch maritime vessel called the Piranha Unmanned Surface Vessel with the help of carbon nanotubes, which weighs only 8,000 lbs and has the capacity to carry a load of 15,000 lbs over a distance of 2,500 miles. And the use of carbon nanotubes does not stop at the vessel manufacturing industry. It is used in the manufacturing of wind turbines, car parts, sports equipment such as baseball bats, hunting arrows, surfboards, skis, and in many more manufacturing departments.

The mass production of carbon nanotubes will be an excellent breakthrough in terms of manufacturing goods and their use should have a significant increase in the quality as well. But the real question here is, will there be a breakthrough in terms of prices as well? We will just have to wait and see.

Thank you VR-Zone for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of USC.edu

Samsung To Begin Production Of Its Galaxy Note 3 Lite Smartphone

There has been rumors of a low-end version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 called the “Galaxy Note 3 Lite” lately. Samsung did not announce anything specific about the Lite version so far, but it appears that Korean ETNews\( via Chip Loco) reports that the Galaxy Note 3 Lite is already in production.

According to sources, Galaxy Note 3 Lite will not be smaller than the current Note 3, having the same 5.68-inch screen on it. The difference between the two is that the Lite phone will come with a LCD screen, as opposed to AMOLED currently found on the Note 3. Samsung is said to be manufacturing 500,000 Galaxy Note 3 Lite in January and afterwards another 1,500,000 in February. The company hopes that the Lite version will account for around 30% of the sales for the Note 3 lineup.

What Samsung wants to gain through this move to launch the Lite version of the Note 3, nobody really knows. Having two similar devices on the market, one slightly cheaper than the latter, will in fact affect the sales of the more expensive one, that is only logical. Yet Samsung is known to play with similar strategies in the past.

Thank you Chip Loco for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Chip Loco

Quanta Computer Rumored To Make the New 12.9-inch iPad

According to Digi Times, Quanta Computer has reportedly booked orders for the new large-sized Apple iPad rumored large-size iPad that should come out in Q2 2014. Quanta has obviously denied the rumors.

Apple has been separating its orders among multiple ODMs recently and has given some of its iPad and iPhone orders to Compal Communications and respectively Wistron. Also, Inventec, Quanta and Foxconn Electronics are rumored to be competing over Apple’s iWatch orders.

Quanta is expected to encounter several challenges in terms of industrial design and assembly when making the large-size iPad. And since the size is not the mainstream specification, order volumes are expected to be limited. Digi Times‘s sources also tell that Apple’s large-size iPad will mainly target the education and enterprise markets.

The iWatch pilot production has also been given a go, however mass production is said to have been postponed from Q1 to Q2 2014.

Thank you Digi Times for providing us with this information

Micron Predicts A Rise In DRAM Prices

Following the massive fire at the factory of SK Hynix early last month, the price of DRAM not surprisingly shot right up with the cost of a 2Gb DDR3 DRAM chip rising up from $1.60 to $2.27 – that’s a rise if nearly 42% in cost. Thanks to a shift in production levels to SK Hynix’s factory over in South Korea, SK Hynix were able to lower the financial impact that I would have otherwise had on both themselves and the industry as a whole.

With this in mind however, following a call between market analysts and executives at Micron, DRAM memory chip prices are expected to be on the rise once more, but this time by only a fraction (<10%) in the first fiscal quarter when compared to the last quarter which finished in August.

On the contrary however, the price of NAND has been predicted to drop by up to 10%. As a result we should expect to see the price of SSDs and other flash storage drop slightly over the next few months as signs that the market is stabilising once more become more and more clear.

With all this in mind, its safe to say that the market is far more stable than we expected and any worries about a prices of NAND shooting through the roof in a similar fashion to what we saw when Hitachi’s factory was flooded should not be expected.

Source: Fudzilla