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Introductory kit RFID systems Designed specifically to help new users understand the ease and flexibility of configuring RFID solutions, the introductory kit announced by Harting contains everything they need to get started. Potential users can configure their own applications, as well as familiarising themselves with the functionality and terminology used. Hardware supplied with the kit includes the company’s Ha-VIS RF-R200 RFID Reader with PoE (Power over Ethernet) connectivity, the RF-R200 desktop power supply, Ha-VIS FT89 small RFID transponders (50 pieces), a Ha-VIS LOCFIELD antenna (0.3 m active length, 0.6 m total length), and a 1m Ethernet patch cable. These are supported by the relevant data sheets, the RF-R200 user manual, and the Ha-VIS configurator tool. Harting www.harting.co.uk Samsung FinFET Exynos 8 has custom cores Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has announced the launch of the Exynos 8 octa-core 8890, the company’s second application processor built on its 14nm FinFET manufacturing process. The company announced its first 14nm FinFET processor, the Exynos 7 octa-core 7420 back in February 2015 although the device had been shown at the previous year’s ARM Tech conference. This is the processor that appeared in the Samsung Galaxy 6 smartphone.Samsung did not indicate what mobile phone the Exynos 8 is destined to power.The Exynos 8890 is similar to its predecessor in that it is a 64bit ARMv8 architecture device but has altered the processing line up with four custom processor cores and four Cortex-A53s in a “big-little” processing arrangement. Samsung claims this provides a 30 percent improvement in performance and 10 percent in power efficiency compared to the Exynos 7 Octa, which included four Cortex-57s alongside the four Cortex-A53s. Indeed Samsung is claiming the Exynos 8 offers the highest performance and power efficiency across its class of application processor. The processor has also been upgraded in the communications modem department with the inclusion of an LTE Rel.12 Cat.12/13 modem. The Exynos 8 Octa is Samsung’s first one-chip solution for premium smartphones. The LTE Rel.12 Cat.12/13 modem enables a maximum download speed of up to 600Mbps (Cat.12) and upload speed of up to 150Mbps (Cat.13) with carrier aggregation. For graphics processing the Exynos 8 includes ARM’s Mali-T880 GPU. Samsung said it plans to begin mass production of the Exynos 8 Octa in late 2015. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. www.samsung.com/exynos Open-source brain-computer interfaces capture DIY makers’ imagination Last year, Joel Murphy and Conor Russomanno have successfully completed a kickstarter campaign for their Open- BCI (open-source Brain-computer interface), a low-cost, programmable, open-source EEG platform who anyone could build to access to their brainwaves. The two founders justify their move to the open source movement as a necessity in order to lower the barrier to entry and accelerate research and discoveries in brain sciences, akin to crowd-sourcing ideas and results through an open forum of shared knowledge. This year, they are back with a more complete offering, the OpenBCI Ganglion, an improved biosensing board able to take inputs for EMG, ECG or EEG measurements, and a complete 3D-printable headset concept, the Ultracortex Mark III, capable of hosting over 60 electrodes for better EEG signal discrimination and analysis. Although all the parts will be available for sale at the Open- BCI’s online shop, DIY makers can also access all the links to hardware printable CAD files from the company’s Github repository. The non-printable electronic parts can be sourced from the online shop. By bringing brain-computer interfaces to the open-source community, Murphy and Russomanno hope that neurosciences and biosensing will reach far beyond academia, delivering neurofeedback tools at approximately a tenth the cost of research-grade devices while enabling new home-grown projects spanning all fields of application. Backers are proving them right, sharing their projects on the dedicated OpenBCI forum and already rewarding them with success on kickstarter. OpenBCI www.openbci.com www.electronics-eetimes.com Electronic Engineering Times Europe December 2015 47


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