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Sony Cable Could Free Design of Portables

A single cable replaces thick ribbon to connect displays, cameras, and keypad

3 min read

22 September 2010—A lot is asked of a phone's display these days. Resolution is getting much higher, and the promise of 3-D viewing is just around the corner. In addition, the display's casing may also house a digital camera, speaker system, and possibly a number of sensors. The unintended consequence is that the cable carrying all the power and data between the display side and the keypad side of a typical clamshell or slider handset is reaching its limit in size and flexibility.

"Current handsets use a bundle of coaxial cables with as many as 40 or 50 wires," says Takehiro Sugita, senior manager in Sony Corp.'s communication systems development section in Tokyo. "As we add more wires, the connectors are becoming too large, the pitch too small, and the cable difficult to bend. Reports of cable damage are increasing."

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Deep Learning Could Bring the Concert Experience Home

The century-old quest for truly realistic sound production is finally paying off

12 min read
Image containing multiple aspects such as instruments and left and right open hands.
Stuart Bradford

Now that recorded sound has become ubiquitous, we hardly think about it. From our smartphones, smart speakers, TVs, radios, disc players, and car sound systems, it’s an enduring and enjoyable presence in our lives. In 2017, a survey by the polling firm Nielsen suggested that some 90 percent of the U.S. population listens to music regularly and that, on average, they do so 32 hours per week.

Behind this free-flowing pleasure are enormous industries applying technology to the long-standing goal of reproducing sound with the greatest possible realism. From Edison’s phonograph and the horn speakers of the 1880s, successive generations of engineers in pursuit of this ideal invented and exploited countless technologies: triode vacuum tubes, dynamic loudspeakers, magnetic phonograph cartridges, solid-state amplifier circuits in scores of different topologies, electrostatic speakers, optical discs, stereo, and surround sound. And over the past five decades, digital technologies, like audio compression and streaming, have transformed the music industry.

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