We’ve long left “chicken-bucket” lidars in the rear-view mirror — is the spray painting approach to point cloud capture the next to go? To achieve the $100 cost target for mass production lidar, providers need to embrace smart sensing, says Ollie Mathews

The need for smarter sensing

An interesting reason for the recent chip shortage in the automotive industry is that many car manufacturers have built their vehicles on outdated generations of silicon, which are low on chip providers’ priorities. …

The trend towards greater miniaturisation offers opportunities for innovation within the implantable pulse generator (IPG) design space. It has put renewed focus on the design of the electronics and mechanical packaging. Delivering a market-leading IPG with the smallest volume requires a multi-disciplinary approach that creatively considers functionality and manufacturability across multiple domains.

In this blog, we discuss:

Why and how to make smaller implantable neurostimulators

Can we do without batteries, and what would this mean for patients?

Technical challenges of smaller device design

What is a neurostimulator?

Neurostimulators are implanted medical devices that treat long-term conditions, such as chronic pain or Parkinson’s disease, by…

Lidar companies are developing a range of laser beam steering technologies for autonomous vehicles — we at TTP have set ourselves the challenge of designing a “perfect” beam steering unit for next-generation lidar.

Next-generation lidar sensors require technologies for steering the ranging laser over the scene encountered by the vehicle that meet the cost point OEMs are willing to pay for series production components and are vastly more compact and reliable than the conspicuous mechanical “buckets” that sat on the roof of the first self-driving cars.

A range of solutions to this challenge are currently being developed, all jostling for…

The UK and other countries are building a vibrant quantum technology ecosystem that soon needs to become self-sustaining. Will addressing the “quantum technology packaging challenge” more rapidly create a quantum economy that delivers the benefits of Quantum 2.0? A blog by William Hamlyn, Laura Wright and Ben Metcalf.

Key takeaway points:

  • Progress in quantum technology will be faster if companies can leverage the developments of others.
  • Companies in the quantum technology ecosystem are therefore turning their attention to the “packaging challenge”.
  • Taking up this challenge can drive innovation and help build confidence that this type of technology can be successfully…

Multi-Project Wafer (MPW) services were first introduced in the 1980s (by MOSIS) to share space on silicon wafers and counteract very high Integrated Circuit (IC) development costs. For ICs, this was relatively straightforward, given the highly standardised fabrication processes and excellent function libraries, which allow developers to efficiently transfer sub-units between designs. Following on from MPW prototyping, scale-up to higher volumes was relatively easy.

Now MEMS foundries also offer MPW services, even though microfabrication covers a much wider range of processes and materials, including bulk or surface micromachining, silicon-on-insulator (SOI), wafer bonding integrated with electronics/photonics/piezoelectrics/bio-elements.

MPWs can be a low-cost…

In a landscape of growing competition and new distribution channels, how can branded pharmaceutical devices compete against their generic counterparts? It turns out the answer is quite simple: by leveraging the one asset a generic product doesn’t have — brand.

By “brand” we don’t mean just a new logo on a product or a proprietary name for an active ingredient in a drug. We have in mind a more holistic definition of brand that encompasses the entire experience of a product. Every interaction at every step in a customer’s journey is the manifestation of a brand’s promise to its customers.

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) to aid medical diagnosis or rationalise healthcare raises similar ethical challenges as applications of AI in other industries, bias and discrimination among them. A prescription of selective forgetfulness for the AI may be a remedy, argue Roderick van den Bergh and Desmond Cheung.

AI has transformed industries such as online advertising and computer games. It also has great promise for transforming healthcare by optimising the delivery of services (as well as unlocking new ones), reducing healthcare professional workloads, and eventually becoming integrated across healthcare value chains [1, 2]. But stakes here are higher than…

Telehealth is hot, and rightly so. The need for remote healthcare has only been made more urgent by Covid-19 . Arguably though, the pandemic is simply accelerating an existing and justifiable sea change whereby healthcare is moving into the home. During the pandemic our homes are everything to us. Our place of work, our creative space, our relaxation space, our sanctuary or prison.

Patient centricity is regularly cited as a critical factor in the success or failure of many new, digitally enabled healthcare solutions. Indeed, a focus on patient needs offers the context critical to designing successful solutions. A solution may be technically advanced and clinically effective, but if we don’t like the look of it, find it hard to use or if it adds burdens to our already cluttered lives, we will simply stop using it… even if that wonderful technology seeks to improve our health or save our life! So, designing solutions that are focussed on meeting patient needs makes a…

After a meteoric rise, and then some time in the doldrums, the “quantified self” seems to be back in favour, a trend crowned by Google acquiring Fitbit for $2 billion and accelerated by the pandemic and a greater societal focus on managing our health. Nothing new there — a classic example of Gartner’s hype cycle. But what became more apparent from CES 2021 was the potential value of our increasing ability to combine data from the quantified self (i.e. our own user-generated medical data) with environmental data to answer new questions and improve our overall approach to health.

TTP — The Technology Partnership

TTP is an independent technology company where scientists and engineers collaborate to invent, design and develop new products and technologies.

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