Posts Tagged ‘rather’

Toyota Auris XR HSD review

Úterý, Květen 29th, 2012

When people are asked to think of a hybrid vehicle, the first name that invariably pops into their heads is Toyota’s iconic Prius. But the Japanese carmaker is intent on making full hybrids — cars that can run solely on a battery-powered motor or a petrol engine or a combination of both — available across its range of passenger vehicles in the next few years.

The Auris is the most recent Toyota line-up to get the hybrid treatment, with the cheaper Yaris model next in line for later this year.

Hybrids are increasingly capturing the imagination of motorists not only in SA but worldwide as fuel prices continue to spike higher. Promising lower fuel consumption and, in most cases, reasonable performance, we’re seeing more of them on our roads.

Detractors will say that a turbo diesel is just as fuel efficient — and perhaps more so — and cheaper than hybrid competitors. But nothing beats the delight of starting up a hybrid and pulling off without the fuel-driven engine engaging. In fact, it can be driven in electric vehicle-only mode for several kilometres, provided you’re not accelerating up a sharp incline or going faster than 50km/h.

TechCentral spent the past week putting the top-end Auris XR HSD — list price, R299 600 — through its paces. There’s also a slightly cheaper XS HSD in the range, but it comes with smaller alloys and fewer of the creature comforts in the XR.

What we discovered in the XR was that below its rather plain-looking exterior (which is not necessarily a bad thing given the odd and somewhat controversial looks of the more expensive Prius), the fully automatic Auris is, for the price, a well-constructed technological marvel.

Before we get into the geeky gadgetry in the Auris, though, first a little about what’s under the bonnet. The XR HSD — which has the same full hybrid powertrain as the Prius — has a 1,8l petrol engine that delivers 73kW of power. The electric motor delivers a further 60kW for a combined 133kW with maximum acceleration from 0-100km/h of 11,4s. Torque is rated at 142Nm from the petrol engine and a further 207Nm for the electric system.

The rear-view mirror is a treat, too, featuring an integrated, full-colour display connected to a rear camera to help you into and out of tight parking spots when you put the car into reverse. This, used in conjunction with park distance control that warns you when you’re nearing an obstruction by beeping ever-more quickly, is particularly useful for tricky parallel parking. It’s the sort of feature that’s usually an expensive optional extra.

The rear-view mirror also uses “electro-chromatic” technology and filters out the harsh headlights of thoughtless drivers who leave their high beams switched on.

The car also features windscreen wipers that switch themselves on automatically when it starts raining. And the headlights also switch themselves on automatically — if this setting is engaged — when it detects that the light is fading.

There’s no integrated GPS in the Auris, which is a pity, but given that would have probably pushed the price well beyond R300 000, it’s perhaps not surprising Toyota hasn’t thrown in the kitchen sink on this model.

Though the Auris XR HSD doesn’t offer some of the features you’ll find in more luxurious cars, it’s one of the best kitted-out cars in its segment and for its price. If you’re a geek at heart and also want to tackle forever spiralling fuel prices (and reduce your harmful carbon emissions in the process), it’s well worth a look.

Radiant Optoelectronics Gears Up for LED Lighting Entry

Pátek, Duben 27th, 2012

Radiant Optoelectronics Co., Ltd. Chairman B.R. Wang recently said his company will start entering into the LED lighting sector this year, with commercial products to be primary products in the initial stage.

Wang, whose company makes backlight modules for personal computers, said the company will make most of its advantage in light guide plate R&D to drum up built-to-order contracts among international lighting brands. He said the company’s lighting operation can provide customers with integrated service using its light guide plate technology and backlight module knowhow.

The chairman pointed out that the company will start to build up competitive strength and footholds for its LED lighting operation over next three to five years. Noting that lighting operation will not account for much of the company’s revenue, which reached NT$63.4 billion (US$2.1 billion at US$1: NT$29) in 2011, Wang said that the company would not be outshone by existing LED-lighting manufacturers on the island in terms of LED lighting revenue.

Wang pointed out that although the company does not have integrated manufacturing capability boasted by many of existing LED lighting manufacturers on the island, its unmatched procurement volume of LEDs every month provides it with the bargaining chip for price negotiation with LED suppliers.

When people in the LED lighting industry are concerned about issues associated with light intensity and price, Wang is considering how to make the lamps look more charming.

The island’s heavyweight LED makers, including Epistar Inc., Everlight Electronics Co., Ltd., Lextar Electronics Corp., Delta Electronics Inc. and Edison Opto Corp., estimated the recent considerable hikes of oil prices and electricity rates on the island will give a boost to the island’s LED lighting industry.

Excelitas Technologies Introduces its Newest “White” ACULED for Medical OEM Applications

Pátek, Duben 13th, 2012

Excelitas Technologies, a global technology leader focused on delivering innovative, customized optoelectronics to OEMs seeking high-performance technology solutions, announced the introduction of its newest model in the ACULED Family of Chip-On-Board LED packages, one expressly designed to meet the rigorous performance requirements of medical applications such as surgical operating room lights, examination lights, and dental operatory lights.

Excelitas’ newest ACULED model contains 4 separately addressable LED chips to provide widely tunable color temperatures (CCT) from 3500o to 5500oK, while maintaining the high Color Rendering Index (CRI), high R9 value, and light output (luminous flux) required in the operating room. With the new ACULED model, CRIs over 95 are achievable along with R9 values of well above 90. CRI is a quantitative measure of the ability of a light source to reproduce colors in comparison to a reference light source, evaluated on a 100-point scale. The R9 value indicates how well the light shows deep, saturated shades of red. The color red is clearly critical in medical applications such as surgery.

Additional benefits of the ACULED platform include excellent heat transfer from the chips to substrate and heat sink, and its compact design with chips that are extremely closely spaced, allowing for improved color mixing and compact optics.

Excelitas offers a standard 4-chip COB package (ACULED Model R3C6) that comes with Warm-white, Cool-white, Red, and Cyan LED dice. In addition, Excelitas offers a variety of design-your-own (DYO) chip combinations, one of the hallmarks of the flexible ACULED platform. All ACULED models are manufactured in Excelitas Technologies’ Pfaffenhofen, Germany facility, which is ISO 9001-certified.

“Excelitas’ newest ACULED for high CRI medical applications is an important addition to our growing portfolio of solid state lighting products that are specifically designed for integration into OEM medical applications such as surgical operating room lights,” said Joel Falcone, senior vice president and general manager of Excelitas Technologies’ global lighting business.

“LEDs are rapidly becoming the standard for surgical operating room lighting versus halogen and Xenon technologies and, through its flexible ACULED platform, Excelitas is excited to be able to provide medical OEMs with attractive options for a surgical lighting system that can effectively balance color temperature with CRI and light brightness,” Mr. Falcone added.

Screens set to go green

Úterý, Srpen 23rd, 2011

In addition to offering significant energy savings over conventional LCD-based displays, OLED screens improve picture quality by producing richer blacks; they also offer a wider viewing angle. In an LCD screen, each pixel is effectively a little filter, selectively blocking light produced by a large backlight. In an OLED screen, however, each pixel is a tiny light emitter such that no backlight is needed. This means that pixels in dark areas of the image consume no power, reducing energy use.

To maximize the energy-saving benefit, screen makers select OLED materials that most efficiently convert electrical current into light, a property known as high external quantum efficiency (EQE). Some of the best materials are phosphorescent metal complexes, but these are typically composed of rare and expensive metals such as iridium.

Copper complexes have long been known as potential alternatives, and would cost 1/2,000th that of iridium phosphors, according to Osawa. Until the work of Osawa and his colleagues, however, these copper complexes had a low EQE. Such complexes can be readily excited into a high-energy state, but they tend to physically distort, which dissipates their extra energy rather than emitting it as light.

The researchers resolved this problem by altering the molecular environment in which the copper sits. They wrapped each copper ion inside a newly designed bulky organic ligand. They then conducted X-ray diffraction studies, which revealed that the ligand had forced the copper to become three-coordinate—it had formed three bonds to the ligand, rather than the usual four.

Osawa and colleagues also demonstrated that the EQE of their green-light-emitting copper complex increased dramatically and matched that of iridium complexes. “The three-coordinate structure is a crucial factor for high EQE, because it hardly distorts in the excited state,” Osawa explains.