Intra-luminaire interfaces pave a path to a smart LED luminaire future (MAGAZINE)

Standardization of an interface used to connect subsystems internal to a luminaire will allow SSL manufacturers an affordable path to delivering smart lighting, writes MAURY WRIGHT. While external or inter-luminaire networks and protocols are often top of mind for solid-state lighting (SSL) industry professionals contemplating connected lighting and the potential of SSL as an Internet of Things (IoT) backbone, it might be the intra-luminaire interfaces that enable an economical and logistically-simple approach to smart luminaire architectures. Indeed, standardization of internal communication buses and protocols could enable the industry to deliver more smart, LED-based lighting products or at least luminaires that could easily have such smarts added in the field. Moreover, a standards-based approach could enable entry-level functionality such as dimming and more advanced applications such as real estate space optimization or indoor wayfinding. Indeed, we at LEDs Magazine have covered smart and connected lighting a lot going back to 2010 or so with articles ranging from application scenarios to choices of networks and protocols. The most common themes have in fact been applicati...

Things are getting closer for KnCMiner, the Swedish mining firm that is preparing to ship 28nm

Things are getting closer for KnCMiner, the Swedish mining firm that is preparing to ship 28nm boxes next month. The firm has taken delivery of the first boards to go into its ASIC miners, and is hinting that its design may allow for higher hash rates than it is publicising. Each of the boards will contain one ASIC chip, says the company. That would put each chip’s hash capacity at a theoretical 100Gh/sec. The firm says that it has overengineered the boards deliberately to cope with 320 W, even though an ASIC will only consume 250 W maximum. “Margins upon margins upon margins is what we do,” said Sam Cole, co-founder of KnCMiner, explaining his design philosophy. “There is wriggle room for lots of things.” The board has been overspecced by 30-40% for extra heat and power consumption, according to Cole. This could enable the chip to be overclocked, he adds. In a blog post, the company said that it has used a large package for its die, to ensure that it can cope with the power and heat requirements of the ASIC chips. The firm has added another mining box to its lineup in the last month. It is now selling the Mercury, a 100 GH/sec box, for $2,000 with a 250 W power consumption. Th...