It has been a year of change for the semiconductor industry. In addition the effects of the COVID-19 crisis, we've followed some exciting mergers and acquisitions, such as Nvidia's acquisition of Arm. This week, we learned more about another consequential acquisition —  the AMD-Xilinx deal, which shines additional light on the importance of artificial intelligence (AI) for the industry's biggest players. Such deals are also big news for the professional engineers, makers, and students who use their products. Will such mergers and acquisitions yield new technologies that will foster innovation at your workbenches? Only time will tell. Here's this week's electronics news brief. 
News Byte: AMD-Xilinx Deal and more

It’s Happening: The AMD-Xilinx Deal

Earlier this month, we reported that an AMD-Xilinx deal was a possibility. This week, AMD announced something a bit more official — “a definitive agreement for AMD to acquire Xilinx in an all-stock transaction valued at $35 billion.” The deal is a clear move on AMD’s part to strengthen its position in AI and the data center market. It also signals to pro engineers, makers, and start-ups that the biggest companies in the industry are serious about the potential for AI technology. It’s no wonder members of Elektor’s community continue to show such a strong interest in the subject. Check out these recent news items, projects, and reviews for more information: AIY Vision Kit, Artificial Intelligence for Beginners, and DIY Artificial Intelligence in the Cloud.

Arduino’s Oplà IoT Kit

Arduino, IoT, open platform: Any of these concepts interest you? If so, you’re in luck. Arduino just launched the Oplà IoT Kit, which is an open platform that enables makers and pro engineers alike to develop custom — and secure! — IoT applications. The kit, which costs around €100, comes with eight IoT projects that you can put in play ASAP: remote-controlled lights; a weather station; a motion-detecting security alarm; a solar system tracker; an inventory control application; a smart garden monitoring system; a thermostat control system; and a "Thinking About You" messenger, for transmitting messages between the Oplà and the Arduino IoT Cloud. Of course, you can connect your own devices and develop innovative new applications.

e-ffwd Start-Ups

Curious about the exciting technologies coming from the companies participating in electronica Fast Forward 2020? Let’s take a look the current crop of participants
  • memetis develops and manufactures ultra-compact miniature valves and highly integrated microfluidic systems.  
  • SKART designs and produces unique, limited-edition electric motorcycles.
  • e-Fásli developed a self-learning heat therapy device
  • V-Juice offers a thin wireless charger
  • krtkl delivers edge-computing solutions 
  • MB V&V Tech developed the POWER SHIELD 6+6 T800, which can control powerful DC devices like LEDs, motors, and other L, R, C loads with Arduino.
  • Celus offers an electronics engineering automation solution that generates schematics, a PCB layout, and BOM.
  • Pionierkraft provides a peer-to-peer energy sharing solution that enables PV owns to share excess energy.
  • OQmented sells advanced MEMS mirror and laser-scanner technologies.
  • nymea is an IoT software hub that can be installed on small computer like a Raspberry Pi or on an appliance and immediately make it compatible with tools like Google and IFTTT.  
  • Next Industries develops IIoT solutions and wearables, such as the Tactigon SKIN gesture controller with AI.
  • Qoitech makes developer tools — such as the Otii Arc power analyzer and power supply — for energy optimization.
  • GREENLITE-ESE is a lighting design team — specializing in hardware, software, and mechanical development — that developed the LUXANDCO DMX-9.
  • CeriTech Indonesia offers a real-time control and monitoring system for post-harvest activities in the coffee production process.
  • MiFood develops automation and robotization solutions for reducing food preparation costs.
  • Viezo's vibration energy harvesting technology converts vibrations into electricity that can be used to power wireless Internet of Things sensors.
Prof. Dr. Rik W. De Doncker

The companies participating in e-ffwd 2020 are competing for a chance to win marketing packages from Elektor (First = €75,000, Second = €50,000, and Third = €25,000), as well as opportunities to network with electronics industry experts. You can vote for the companies until November 5, 2020. Once the voting period ends, the official jury, led by Prof. Dr. Rik W. De Doncker, will select the winners.  
Updates on the AMD-Xilinx Deal, Arduino, and More
Don’t miss our weekly Electronics News Byte for updates about the AMX-Xilinx deal, Arduino, and the other topics mentioned in this post. And be sure to vote on the 2020 e-ffwd participants.